Physical activity and stages of change in fifth and sixth graders

J Sch Health. 1999 Sep;69(7):285-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.1999.tb06410.x.


The Stage of Change (SC) paradigm was adapted to assess readiness to be or stay physically active among fifth and sixth graders. Students completed a four-item SC survey, the Past Year Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire, and the Modifiable Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents. Precontemplation, contemplation, and preparation stages were grouped as "pre-action" (PRE), and action and maintenance as "post-action" (AX) stages. Nearly 40% of all students were in PRE, compared to 60% of students in AX stages. Twenty-two percent of all students were in the sedentary precontemplation or contemplation stages. Significantly more boys were in maintenance than girls, and more girls than boys were in contemplation. Students averaged 14-21 hours/week of television, video, or computer work, and 1.6 hours/week of physical activity outside of school. Interventions may be targeted at a specific SC to enable a child to move forward along the SC continuum toward an active lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Physical Education and Training / standards
  • Physical Education and Training / trends
  • Physical Fitness
  • Rural Population
  • Sampling Studies
  • Urban Population