The relation between individual-level factors and the implementation of classroom-based physical activity approaches among elementary school teachers

Timothy J. Walker, Derek W. Craig, Michael C. Robertson, Jacob Szeszulski, Maria E. Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Classroom-based physical activity approaches can improve students' physical activity; however, their implementation remains a challenge. This study examined teacher-level factors associated with implementing two classroom-based physical activity approaches (active learning and physical activity breaks). We collected cross-sectional survey data from classroom teachers (n = 133) from 20 elementary schools in an urban Texas school district. Surveys included questions about theoretical constructs (e.g., knowledge, self-efficacy), personal characteristics (e.g., age, gender), and the implementation of active learning and physical activity breaks. We used linear regression models to assess associations between independent variables and implementation outcomes. We also assessed variable importance by examining the unique variance explained. Knowledge (b = .31, p = .001), outcome expectations (b = .18, p = .015), self-efficacy (b = .40, p ≤ .001), and support (b = .22, p = .028) were directly associated with active learning implementation. Teacher physical activity level (b = .29, p = .004) and grade level (third to fifth had lower levels than kindergarten to second grade, b = -.45, p = .022) were also associated with active learning implementation. In fully adjusted models, self-efficacy explained the most variance (≈5%) in active learning implementation compared to other variables. Knowledge (b = .18, p = 0.026), attitudes (b = .18, p = .019), self-efficacy (b = .15, p = .036), and teacher grade level (third to fifth had lower levels than kindergarten to second grade, b = -.80, p < .001) were associated with activity break implementation. In fully adjusted models, teacher grade level explained the most variance (≈13%) in activity break implementation compared to other variables. Results suggest multiple theoretical constructs and personal characteristics are important to target/consider when developing implementation strategies for classroom-based physical activity approaches. Additionally, self-efficacy and teacher grade level are two factors to prioritize.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-753
Number of pages9
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 7 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Implementation
  • Physical activity
  • School
  • Teacher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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