Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Acta Gymnica








Background: Mobile technology permeates every aspect of student lives. The question is whether mobile technology integration can produce desirable effects in the gymnasium.

Objective: This preliminary study aimed to investigate the effects of mobile technology integration on student situational interest and physical activity fluctuation in physical education lessons.

Methods: Sixth grade students (N = 53) were randomly placed into either an experiment group by class that utilized mobile technology-integrated resources (iPad and applications), or a comparison group that did not utilize technology. Both groups received five identical physical education lessons. Student physical activity was tracked with accelerometers, and they completed the Situational Interest Scale at the end of each lesson. The researchers analyzed the data using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) with repeated measures.

Results: Students in the experiment group reported significantly lower physical activity and situational interest than their counterparts in the comparison group. A group x lesson interaction suggested that student step/min steadily increased throughout the lessons in the experiment group while remaining relative stable in the comparison group.

Conclusions: Mobile technologies such as iPad and applications with no direct physical activity prompt had little effect on increasing physical activity or situational interest in the short term. It is important to consider the classroom dynamics to realistically evaluate the constraints and strengths that mobile technology-integrated physical education lessons may pose in a traditional physical education environment.


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Original Publication Citation

Zhu, X. H., & Dragon, L. A. (2016). Physical activity and situational interest in mobile technology integrated physical education: A preliminary study. Acta Gymnica, 46(2), 59-67. doi:10.5507/ag.2016.010