Influence of an increased number of physical education lessons on the motor performance of adolescents–A non-interventional cohort study

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Increasing the amount of regular physical education lessons in school is currently discussed in many countries in order to increase physical activity in youth. The purpose of this study was to compare the motor performance of pupils from an observation group participating in a school trial of two additional physical education lessons (5 lessons of each 50 min/week) without a specific intervention program to a control group with a regular amount of three physical education lessons (3 lessons of each 50 min/week) as indicated by the standard Austrian school curriculum. In this cohort study motor performance of 140 adolescents (12.7 +/- 0.5 years) was assessed by means of the German Motor Performance Test 6-18 over a period of 1.5 years with measurement time points before (T1), after eight months (T2) and at the end of the observation period (T3). Two- and three-way mixed analysis of variance were used to detect time, group and interaction effects. Although the observation group demonstrated a higher total motor performance score at all time points (P = 0.005), the improvement over time in total motor performance (P < 0.001) was more pronounced in the control group. Girls and boys developed differently over time (time*gender interaction: P = 0.001), whereby group allocation did not affect this interaction (time*gender*group: P = 0.167). Anyway, girls of control group tend to benefit most of additional physical education lessons. Sports club members scored significantly higher in motor performance across the observation period (P = 0.018) irrespective of group allocation. These findings indicate that there could be a ceiling effect in what the pupils could achieve in terms of motor performance as the pupils of the observation group might have reached this point earlier than their counterparts in the control group. Nevertheless, sports club membership seems to reveal some benefits. Whether improving quality and specificity of the single physical lessons might be superior to merely adding additional ones needs to be confirmed in future studies.

FachzeitschriftPLoS ONE
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 14 Okt. 2021

ÖFOS 2012

  • 303028 Sportwissenschaft