Validation of the Simple Activity Measure (SAM) in a College Physical Activity Class
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Background: Community Colleges in Texas have experienced budget cuts. Additionally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently voted to eliminate physical activity classes as part of the core curriculum in Texas effective the Fall semester of 2014. Further, many counties in South Texas are classified among the fattest in the nation. Affordable and accurate accountability measures of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in physical education (PE) at all levels can assist the physical educator in positively impacting the health, well-being and disease risk among community college students in Texas. Particularly, these measures at the Community College level are important to have if the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board actions are reversed in the future.
Subjects and methods: The participants (n=246) in this study included students enrolled in physical activity classes in south Texas community colleges. The SAM activity levels were compared with heart rates (HR) and an additional tSAM Stat Worksheets (Form 2010 EZ) were modified and edited by the researcher based upon a previous investigation and engineered for observers.
Results: The results suggest that SAM is a cost effective alternative for the measurement of MVPA in the physical education classroom. The results also suggest that the instructional intervention tool increases accuracy in the assessment of MVPA.The findings support SAM as a valid and cost effective method to assess MVPA in PE. Specifically, the SAM intensity average was 3.89 ± .976 and average heart rate was (HR) 116.43±17.81 with a significant correlation at 0.01 level (r=.236).