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SOFIT: System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time
The SOFIT tool assesses physical education classes by enabling the researcher to simultaneously collect data on student activity levels, the lesson context, and teacher behavior. The system enables researchers, teachers, and supervisors to make judgments about physical education lessons, particularly as they relate to program goals. The main outcome variable is student physical activity levels, and these can be reported in number of minutes and % lesson time spent in MVPA (moderate-to-vigorous physical activity); VPA (vigorous physical activity); lying down, sitting, standing, and walking; and estimated energy expenditure per lesson (kcal/kg).
SOFIT TRAINING: A free 93 minute SOFIT Observer Training DVD is available from Active Living Research. Electronic download and hard copy DVD are available. The SOFIT audio pacing guide is available from the electronic download link.
A few SOFIT observer training videos are also available on YouTube.
SOFIT WEBINAR: Active Living Research hosted a web-based seminar titled Using Systematic Observation to Research School Physical Education and Physical Activity Programs on May, 20, 2015. The session explored the importance of using direct observation to assess physical activity in schools, discussed common research topics assocated with using this methodology, and provided advanced information on the SOFIT and SOPLAY tools. The full webinar presentation, including audio, is available for free here.
iSOFIT APP: The initial version of iSOFIT is available for free in the App Store. This initial version allows for the recording of Participant Physical Activity, Session Context, and Instructor Behavior. Summary bar charts for these variables are available immediately (actually at the 'click' of a button). Downloading data to Excel files and other enhancements will follow soon. Check the App Store for upgrades. Because SOFIT is widely used in diverse instructional settings (e.g., PE, sports coaching), we are using 'generic' terms (e.g., instructor rather than teacher; session rather than lesson).