The effect of the Manitoba grade 11 and 12 high school physical education curriculum on fitness-related health, academic and behavioural outcomes
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There is universal agreement that school physical education (PE) and school-community sports participation (SCSP) enhance adolescent health and well-being. However, virtually no study has objectively evaluated the effects for grade 11 and 12 high school students. The primary aim of this study was to assess the impact of a newly implemented PE curriculum on health-related fitness, psychological well-being and academic performance for grade 11 and 12 students (n=101). Secondary aim was to evaluate the influence of students involved in SCSP (n=44) with those not involved in SCSP (non-SCSP) (n=57). In-school PE (IN, n=22); out-of-school PE (OUT, n=65); and no-PE (CONTROL, n=14) were assessed with the following tests [20-meter shuttle run (20MSR), push-ups (PU), sit-ups (SU), and modified pull-ups (MPU), body fat percent (BF%), body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) and grade point average (GPA). Testing was conducted in September and again in December of 2008. Repeated measures ANOVA controlling for sex for IN revealed significant increases for 20MSR (p<0.001), PU (p=0.033), MPU (p=0.004), aggregate strength (AS) (p=0.017), and height (p<0.001); in addition to significant decreases for GPA (p=0.001) and BF% (p=0.003). OUT reported significant increases for 20MSR (p=0.002), PU (p<0.001), AS (p<0.001), height (p<0.001); and PSDQ variables of coordination (CO) (p=0.038), strength (ST) (p=0.043) and flexibility (FL) (p=0.013). CONTROL reported significant decreases in PA (p=0.006), WC (p=0.05), MPU (p=0.034) and GPA (p=0.028); and significant increases in PU (p=0.039) and height (0.039). The IN group scored significantly higher than both OUT (p=0.019) and CONTROL (p=0.019) groups with respect to the mean (95% CI) change in maxVO2. For testing in September, SCSP scored significantly higher (p<0.001) for the fitness variables of CVF, PU, SU, MPU and AS; and the PSDQ variables of CO, PA, BF, SP, GP, ST, EN and SE. PSDQ variable of appearance was also significantly higher (p=0.003) for SCSP. In addition, SCSP scored significantly lower for BF% (p<0.001) and WC (p=0.013). Follow up testing in December between SCSP and non-SCSP produced identical results except for WC becoming insignificant (p=0.058). Significant improvements in health-related fitness and psychological well-being warrant continued efforts to provide quality PE and SCSP programming for all high school students.