Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Tom Overend
Ontarioimplemented the Daily Physical Activity program in all elementary schools to counteract the recent decline in children’s physical activity levels. The program mandates that all students in kindergarten to grade 8 are provided with 20 minutes of physical activity every day. The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the delivery of Daily Physical Activity as well as identify any supports or barriers to program delivery.
Study 1 consisted of a questionnaire investigating the perspectives of the teachers involved in the Daily Physical Activity program. Teachers were questioned about how they implement the DPA program, the supports and barriers to program delivery. Teachers admitted that they do not implement the DPA program as mandated on all days without physical education. They report that time is the single most important barrier to program delivery. Many teachers felt that DPA takes valuable time away from other more important subjects.
Study 2 consisted of a questionnaire investigating the perspectives of the students involved in the DPA program. Students confirmed that teachers do not implement the DPA program on all days that it is mandated. They also indicated that there is a lack of intensity in the activities used during DPA. Students however looked very favorably on the DPA program and did not feel that time was a barrier to program delivery.
Study 3 consisted of objectively measuring the school-day physical activity of students participating in the DPA program. Students wore accelerometers for 4 days. Results indicate that there is very little meaningful physical activity during the DPA class. Students averaged just over 3 minutes MVPA within the allotted 20 minutes of DPA. The inclusion of DPA in the school day had no effect on the total school-day physical activity of students.
In general the DPA program is not being run as intended in regards to time, intensity or frequency. DPA has shown to have very little effect on the physical activity levels of the students. In order to properly address the decreasing levels of physical activity in Canadian children, the Daily Physical Activity program needs significant changes in order to be effective.
Patton, Ian T., "School-based physical activity in children: An evaluation of the Daily Physical Activity program in Ontario elementary schools." (2012). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. Paper 846.