Title

Physical Activity and Self-Efficacy in Physical Activity and Healthy Eating in an Urban Elementary Setting

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-8-2015

Abstract

Background: Identifying lifestyle factors such as physical activity (PA) patterns and eating behaviors of children may be beneficial in implementing interventions in urban elementary schools. Purpose: To examine PA levels and self-efficacy (SE) in PA and health eating (HE) of third, fourth, and fifth graders in 3 low economic elementary schools in an urban setting. Method: Students (N = 295) were administered SE in PA and HE inventories and given Omron HJ7201TC pedometers. Results: Girls had significantly (P < .05) higher goal setting for healthy food choices (4.34 ± 0.75) and decision making for healthy food choices (3.85 ± 0.89) than boys (goal setting: 4.11 ± 0.87; decision making: 3.20 ± 1.05). For step counts per weekday (SWKD), boys (7354.88 ± 2631.44 steps/day) had significantly (P < .05) higher steps than girls (6273.87 ± 2259.00 steps/day). Third and fifth graders (third: 7112.48 ± 2564.13 steps/day; fifth: 7189.35 ± 2470.57 steps/day) had significantly (P < .05) higher steps than fourth graders (6172.21 ± 2350.32 steps/day). For step counts per weekend (SWKEND), no significant (P>.05) differences existed for gender (girls: 5732.38 ± 3267.16 steps/day; boys: 6050.59 ± 3564.21 steps/day) or grade level (third: 6486.23 ± 3282.34 steps/day; fourth: 5605.74 ± 3381.45 steps/day; fifth: 5617.51 ± 3513.54 steps/day). A significant positive relationship was found for goal setting for PA and SWKEND (r = − 0.178, P = .033). In addition, significant relationships existed for transport questions, specifically, goal setting for PA was positively related to the number of times walking to school (r = 0.142, P = .036) and decision making for PA was negatively related to the number of times a student took the bus per week (r = − 0.139, P = 0.33). Translation to Health Education Practice: An urban setting may influence the amount of PA due to accessibility and opportunities to engage in PA.