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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 May;55(5):527-34

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Daily physical education in primary school and physical activity in midlife: the Trois-Rivières study

Larouche R. 1, 2, Laurencelle L. 1, Shephard R. J. 3, Trudeau F. 1

1 Department of Physical Activity Sciences, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois‑Rivières, Québec, Canada; 2 Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario and the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 3 Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada


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AIM: Although a commonly stated purpose of physical education (PE) classes is to foster life-long participation in physicalactivity (PA), few longitudinal studies have assessed the impact of childhood PE interventions on PA as an adult. The Trois-Rivières Growth and Development Study provided a unique opportunity to address this question.
METHODS: In 2008, 86 participants in the original 1970-1977 Trois-Rivières Study (44 women and 42 men aged 44.0±1.2 years) completed a questionnaire examining their current PA level and different correlates of PA (i.e. individual’s intention to engage in PA, perceived enjoyment, usefulness and ease in engaging in PA, perceived social support and social norms). Participants had initially been assigned to either an experimental program (5 h/week of specialist-taught PE) or a control group (40 min/week of home-room teacher-taught PE) from grades 1 to 6.
RESULTS: There were no current differences between the experimental and control groups neither in the frequency, duration nor volume of PA undertaken at the current follow-up. Furthermore, no differences between groups were found for any of the PA correlates examined.
CONCLUSION: Providing daily PE throughout primary school seems insufficient to ensure that individuals will remain active in midlife. The development of a life-course approach to PA promotion is thus warranted.

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Francois.Trudeau@uqtr.ca