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Physical Activity Intensity Distribution during Physical Education among Swedish Upper Secondary School Students

Journal article
Authors Julius Gerth
Anders Raustorp
Andreas Fröberg
Published in Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum
Volume 10
Pages 163–175
ISSN 2000-088X
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science
Pages 163–175
Language en
Keywords Accelerometers; adolescents; fitness; moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; sedentary; youth
Subject categories Health Sciences


Background: Physical education (PE) has been identified as a potentially powerful domain to promote physical activity (PA) among school-aged youth. In Sweden, there is a lack of studies investigating PA intensity distribution during PE among upper secondary school student. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate PA intensity distribution during PE among Swedish upper secondary school students. Methods: PA was measured during 41 PE lessons among 121 (n = 75 boys) Swedish upper secondary school students (ages 16-18 years) using hip-mounted objective activity monitors from ActiGraph™ (GT3X+ accelerometers). Results: The participants spent a median of 23% of the PE lessons time being sedentary, 17% in light PA (LPA), and 59% in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). There were no differences between boys and girls for neither sedentary (p = .185), LPA (p = .377), or MVPA (p = .839). Sedentary (p = .001) and LPA (p < .0001) were lower and MVPA (p < .0001) higher during fitness-related activities when compared to invasion games. Conclusion: A median of 59% of the PEL time was spent in MVPA which is relatively high in an international comparison. No differences were observed between boys and girls. Fitness-related activities contributed to higher MVPA when compared to invasion games.

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