Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 91, Issue 5, pp 371–375 | Cite as

Structured Opportunities for Student Physical Activity in Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools

  • Kenneth R. Allison
  • Edward M. Adlaf


This paper examines structured opportunities for student physical activity in Ontario elementary and secondary schools. Random samples of elementary and secondary schools were selected, and telephone surveys of 353 elementary and 360 secondary school personnel were conducted in 1998. The findings indicate that elementary schools offered physical education, on average, just under three days per week. The duration of physical education class and, in some cases, the duration of vigorous physical activity in class and the weekly amount of vigorous activity in class, were significantly higher at successive grade levels. The physical education enrollment rate in secondary schools was significantly lower at successive grade levels. Student participation in secondary school intramurals and inter-school sports was 22.8% and 28.7% respectively. These findings suggest increasing the weekly frequency of physical education in elementary schools and increasing participation in physical education classes in secondary schools. Also, intramural opportunities and participation should be promoted.


Ce document étudie la pratique de l’activité physique encadrée chez les écoliers du primaire et du secondaire en Ontario. On a sélectionné des échantillons aléatoires puis mené des sondages par téléphone auprès de 353 membres du personnel d’écoles primaires et de 360 membres du personnel d’écoles secondaires, en 1998. Les conclusions montrent que les écoles élémentaires offrent des cours d’éducation physique un peu moins de trois jours par semaine en moyenne. On observe que la durée du cours (dans certains cas, l’activité physique y est pratiquée de façon intense), et le nombre de cours d’éducation physique par semaine, augmentent de manière importante en proportion des niveaux successifs. On constate, par contre, que l’inscription aux cours d’éducation physique dans les écoles secondaires baisse de manière significative avec les niveaux successifs. La participation des étudiants du niveau secondaire dans les sports internes et interscolaires était de 22,8 % et de 28,7 % respectivement. Ces conclusions indiquent une augmentation de la fréquence hebdomadaire aux cours d’éducation physique dans les écoles primaires et une augmentation de la participation aux cours d’éducation physique dans les écoles secondaires. Par conséquent, on devrait promouvoir les possibilités internes d’activité physique et la participation à l’activité physique.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

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