A comparison of activity levels of girls in single-gender and co-ed physical education

Laura Wallace*, Duncan Buchan, Nicholas Sculthorpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
219 Downloads (Pure)


This study examined whether single-gender or mixed-gender PE lessons were more conducive to increasing the physical activity levels of girls. One hundred and twenty girls (12-15 years) wore an wGT3x+ActiGraph accelerometer while participating in basketball games. Time spent in low (LPA), moderate (MPA), vigorous (VPA) and moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were compared between a single-gender and mixed-gender PE lesson. Perceived effort and enjoyment of each lesson were also captured using a three-point scale following the intervention. Girls were found to spend significantly more time in MVPA (p=0.01) and VPA (p=0.006) in the single-gender environment. Furthermore, girls spent significantly less time in LPA (p=0.014). Although girls believed that their effort did not alter with the addition of boys, they did show a preference for taking part in a single-gender environment. Results of this study suggest that segregating PE classes for game-based activities could lead girls to achieve greater health benefits through a higher level of activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Issue number1
Early online date21 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Females
  • Physical Activity
  • Accelerometer
  • MVPA
  • Enjoyment
  • Mixed-Gender Sports


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