Graduation Date

Spring 2017

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Kinesiology, option Teaching/Coaching

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Taylor Bloedon

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Rock Braithwaite

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Sheila Alicea

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories




Physical Health and Physical Self-Description: A Comparison of Physical Activity Electives at the Middle School Level

Lisa Jennings

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare traditional physical education with Zumba to determine which method is the most appropriate and beneficial to the psychological development and well-being of children and adolescents, as well as the ability to increase the activity rates and levels in the United States.

Design: Survey/Questionnaire and Observation Experimental

Methods: Participants included a total of 53 students, currently enrolled in one of two PA elective courses, physical education or Zumba dance class. Participants included students in both the 7th and 8th grades, ages ranging from 11 to 14 years, at a rural middle school located in northern California. Methods included measurements of body composition, PA levels, as well as psychological well-being. Body composition was determined by pre-and post-body mass index measurement. Physical activity levels were measured with ActiGraph accelerometers, worn on four separate occasions, by all participants. Psychological well-being was measured pre-and post-using the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire - short form (PSDQ-S).

Seventh and eighth grades students, ages 11-14 years, were recruited from a rural middle school located in Northern California. The 55 students were enrolled in either an elective traditional physical education course or an elective Zumba physical education course.

Results: An independent t-test was conducted using the IBM SPSS program and showed no significance difference between the traditional physical education group and the Zumba group, on all variables measured, except in steps per minute and kcals expended. A significant difference was found in steps per minute and kcals, favoring the physical education group. A dependent t-test was also conducted, finding no significant difference of pre- to post-measurements of BMI and PSDQ-S questionnaire, within both sample groups.

Conclusion: Study findings support an equality among sample groups on measured variables with the exceptions of steps per minute and kcal expenditure, suggesting that alternative physical activity courses, such as Zumba, can be as beneficial as a traditional physical education course in levels of BMI, PA levels of MVPA and time spend in sedentary movement, and physical self-description scales of physical self-concept, esteem, and global esteem.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location