JROTC as a substitute for PE: Really?

Monica A.F. Lounsbery, Kathryn A. Holt, Shannon M. Monnat, Brian Funk, Thomas L. McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Even though physical education (PE) is an evidence-based strategy for providing and promoting physical activity, alternative programs such as the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) are commonly substituted for PE in many states. The purpose of this study was to compare student physical activity and lesson contexts during high school PE and JROTC sessions. Method: The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time was used to assess PE and JROTC sessions (N = 38 each) in 4 high schools that provided both programs. Data were analyzed using t tests, negative binomial regression, and logistic regression. Results: Students engaged in significantly more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during PE than during JROTC sessions and they were significantly less sedentary. Significant differences between the 2 program types were also found among lesson contexts. Conclusions: PE and JROTC provide substantially different content and contexts, and students in these programs engage in substantially different amounts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Students in JROTC, and perhaps other alternative programs, are less likely to accrue health-supporting physical activity and engage in fewer opportunities to be physically fit and motorically skilled. Policies and practices for providing substitutions for PE should be carefully examined. © 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-419
Number of pages6
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • course substitutions
  • physical activity
  • physical education
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nephrology


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