The NASPE/NCATE (2008) standards emphasize, among other items, that future physical educators should exemplify the characteristics of a physically literate individual. There is an abundance of
literature concerning students’ physical activity and self-efficacy. However, limited evidence explores physical educators’ physical activity or self-efficacy for exercise, other than agronomical
studies examining the workload (Sandmark et al., 1999) and health/injury issues of physical education (Lamoyne et al., 2007). Therefore, we aimed to investigate physical educators’ self-efficacy to
exercise and their physical activity.
A correlational and observational study design was used. We used the self-efficacy to regular exercise scale (Bandura, 2006) to collect physical educators’ self-efficacy to exercise, and the
international physical activity questionnaire-short form (IPAQ-SF, Craig et al., 2003) to collect their habitual physical activity. Two hundred and thirty physical educators (N = 230) responded to the
survey, including 73.4% fulltime physical educators, and 26% part-time paraprofessionals and physical education majors. Data were analyzed descriptively and a regression analysis was conducted to
predict physical educators’ daily self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) time with gender, years of teaching experiences, professional status, and perceived body weight status as
Physical educators on average reported 57.81 ± 51.19 min of MVPA daily and weekly total MET min averaged 3624.61 ± 2892.88. Physical educators reported on average 12.20 ± 11.78 years of teaching
experience, ranging from zero to 42 years; and their self-efficacy aggregated composite score ranged from 291 to 1800, with an average of 1101.23 ± 361.68. The regression analysis showed that the
model explained a significant amount of variance in MVPA (F5,177 = 16.66, p < .05, R2 = .30). Self-efficacy emerged as a significant positive predictor (β = .48), while years of teaching experience
emerged as a negative predictor (β = -.35). No other predictors entered in the model were statistically significant.
Physical educators on average reported high amounts of physical activity based on total weekly MET minutes (> 3000), with daily MVPA close to 60 minutes. This is not surprising given that the
occupational requirement of being a physical educator has a relatively high physical workload (Sandmark et al., 1999). Despite having relatively high physical activity, 26.2% of physical educators
perceived themselves to be overweight or obese. With years of teaching experiences as a significant negative predictor, the results suggest that those who taught longer are likely to be less physical
active. The research is consistent with population based studies in that self-efficacy is a significant positive predictor for physical educators’ physical activity. Future studies should look at
self-efficacy, physical activity, and other health-related indicators to unravel the relations of these variables and help understand the occupational and behavioral aspects of the profession.