Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Running for children--Iowa--Grundy Center--Physiological aspects; Heart rate monitoring--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Iowa--Grundy Center; Running for children--Physiological aspects; Iowa--Grundy Center; Academic theses;


The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an educational intervention lesson on fourth and fifth grade students' ability to sustain effort (pace) in an identified target heart rate zone during a modified I -mile run test. It was hypothesized that after participating in the intervention, students would be able to sustain effort in their target heart rate zone more consistently than before receiving the educational program. Computerized heart rate measures were obtained for fourth and fifth grade students by the use of Polar E600 watches during pretest and posttest modified 1 -mile runs. The data from the watches was downloaded into the PEManager™ computer software program to gather information such as average heart rate, percentage of time in the identified target heart rate range and time to complete the modified I-mile run.

Data were collected on 66 fourth and fifth grade students enrolled at Grundy Center Elementary School during the fall semester 2004. Fifty-nine of the students had retrievable data from both tests. The study sample included 36 boys and 23 girls. Students ranged in age from 8 to 11 years, with a mean age of 10.17 years. Parents of all participants provided a signed informed consent and children provided verbal assent.

The students were given the goal of maintaining an average heart rate of 185 during the modified I -mile run. Although none of the groups achieved the goal on either the pretest or posttest, posttest values were closer to the stated goals for each group. With the exception of the fifth grade boys, each group significantly increased average heart rate during the modified 1-mile run. At posttest, average heart rates among all four groups were only 5-8 beats per minute (bpm) below the stated goal.

Another goal of the study was for participants to sustain their heart rate in the desired heart rate zone (HRZ) of 180-190 bpm while completing the modified 1-mile run. Results on the pretest demonstrated students' ability to maintain heart rate in the desired HRZ less than 25% of the time. Each group was able to significantly increase the percentage of time in zone (TNZ) from the. pretest to the posttest; as a result, participants were closer to the stated goal of 50% TNZ on the posttest, even though no groups were able to reach the selected level. With the exception of the fourth grade girls, all groups were within four percentage points of attaining the goal after the educational intervention lesson.

Significant improvement in modified I-mile run performance time was illustrated by fourth grade boys and girls but not by fifth grade boys or girls. Fourth grade students decreased performance time on average, by more than two minutes, while fifth grade boys decreased performance time by approximately 30 seconds and fifth grade girls by 60 seconds. Though the decrease in modified 1-mile run times was not statistically significant for fifth grade students, the trend was in the desired direction.

It is noteworthy to point out, in viewing all results, fourth grade students made more significant gains overall than fifth grade students. These differences may be attributed to the fact that fifth grade students were more experienced running the modified I-mile mile run and had more experience with heart monitor usage and self-monitoring prescribed intensity levels as a result of using the heart monitors in the physical education setting for one year. This is important to note, since fifth grade students were accustomed to self-regulating and adjusting individual intensity according to the visual feedback from the watches. All data collected in this study must be viewed with discretion due to the fact there was no control group used. Although it is impossible to say with certainty whether the educational intervention lesson was the causative factor for the change. results were promising. More research and study in this area is merited using more rigorous research design, specifically the use of a control group.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Larry D. Hensley

Second Advisor

Ripley Marston

Third Advisor

Carol Phillips


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Date Original


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