Association of a Behaviorally Based High School Health Education Curriculum With Increased Exercise

Academic Article


  • Increasing exercise in children and adolescents through academic classes is an understudied area. Potential benefits include associated improvements in health, psychosocial, and quality-of-life factors. A sample of 98 students (Mage = 14.3) from high school health education classes received six, 40-min lessons incorporating cognitive–behavioral methods to increase exercise over 6 weeks. Significant within-group improvements in exercise, mood, and body satisfaction were found, with slightly larger effect sizes identified for the boys. Increase in exercise was significantly associated with reduced mood distress (β = −.17, p <.001). For the girls only, change in body satisfaction significantly mediated that relationship, and a reciprocal relationship between changes in mood and body satisfaction was also identified. Incorporation of lessons emphasizing goal setting and self-regulation within high school health education classes may foster increased exercise and associated improvements in mood and body satisfaction. For girls, the positive effects may reinforce one another.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 7281104
  • Author List

  • Annesi JJ; Trinity J; Mareno N; Walsh SM
  • Start Page

  • 196
  • End Page

  • 204
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 3