Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


During the spring of the 1988-89 school year, all 115 fourth-grade students at China Grove Elementary School were given the American Alliance Physical Fitness Test. The students were also given blood-cholesterol screening and blood-pressure tests. The tests were given because of concern by faculty members anu school administrators that the students were physically unfit and this may be affecting academic performance. Formal interviews were conducted with all 115 target group members during the 1988-89 school year. Health and exercise practices by students and parents were discussed. Students candidly participated in the interview. All fifth-grade students during the 1989-90 school year were identified as the target group. These students took part in a program to improve their physical fitness. The practicum interventions included a change in the physical education curriculum, improved teaching strategies by regular classroom teachers, student and parent education and closely monitoring student exercise and diet at home. After a year of the intervention strategies, the target group was again given the American Alliance Physical Fitness Test. The students again received follow-up blood-cholesterol screening and blood-pressure tests. The progress made on physical fitness by the target group and its effects on student performances were studied. The target group showed significant improvement in lower body strength, upper body strength and cardiovascular endurance. Students did not improve in flexibility. Blood-cholesterol levels slightly decreased. Teachers and students began to exercise more.

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