Evaluation of a school–community linked physical activity intervention targeting 7- to 12-year-olds: a sociocultural perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Worcester

Abstract

Background: Public health professionals advocate school-based and community physical activity (PA) interventions as an effective method to increase PA levels and improve physical fitness.

Purpose: This evaluation independently assessed a school–community linked PA intervention by exploring the provision, process, and impact of the program and its outcomes.

Methods: Students aged 7 to 12 years (n = 468, intervention group [IG]; n = 128, control group [CG]), teachers (n = 19), head teachers (n = 4), school program contacts (n = 4), and program administrator (n = 1) took part in the evaluation. Program content and processes were assessed using questionnaires and semistructured interviews. A mixed effect model was used to assess changes in physical fitness, PA levels, and attitudes toward PA at baseline and postintervention.

Results: CG increased body mass (P > .001), aerobic capacity (P > .001), and push-ups (P = .005), as well as improved attitudinal scores toward health and fitness and vertigo (P < .05) compared to the IG. Process evaluation revealed struggles with implementation and design, including pedagogical issues to facilitate program goals. The intervention did not improve attitudinal outcomes, PA levels, or physical fitness above that of the CG.

Translation to Health Education Practice: Sustainable PA interventions should consider adopting a sociocultural approach that is grounded in learning models and delivered by staff with relevant pedagogical content knowledge.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-126
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Education
Volume50
Issue number2
Early online date22 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019