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Willingness to Engage Predicts Physical Activity Participation in Physical Education among Students

Xihe Zhu1 and Senlin Chen 2
1. Department of Human Movement Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA
2. School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
Abstract—Cognitive processes influence students’ engagement and learning. This study examined students’ cognitive processes and their physical activity in physical education (PE). The participants were 211 students enrolled in three middle schools. The Cognitive Processes Questionnaire in Physical Education was used to measure students’ cognitive processes. ActiGraph GT3X accelerometers were fitted on students’ waists during PE classes to gather physical activity data. Students spent relatively short amount of time in MVPA in PE classes (M/SD = 12.79/6.21 minutes). Subsequent regression analysis found that these cognitive process variables collectively accounted for 11% of the variances in MVPA time and 14% in step count, respectively. Willingness to engage (i.e., a cognitive process variable) was the only significant positive predictor for in-class MVPA and step count. The findings suggest that there is a need to create amenable learning environments that foster students’ willingness to participate in PE, and that researchers and practitioners should recognize the impact of students’ willingness to engage on their physical activity participation in class. 
 
Index Terms—cognitive process, adolescent, step count, middle school, MVPA, motivation

Cite: Xihe Zhu and Senlin Chen, "Willingness to Engage Predicts Physical Activity Participation in Physical Education among Students," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 209-215, September 2018. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.4.3.209-215
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