After-school interventions to increase physical activity among youth
ABSTRACT Most children and adolescents do not meet the recommended 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. One attractive approach to increasing physical activity in young people is providing activity through structured after-school programmes. This paper provides a review of the scientific literature on the effects of after-school programmes on physical activity in children and adolescents. After-school physical activity interventions provided mixed results; some increased children's physical activity, others did not. Although after-school programmes have the potential to help children and adolescents engage in regular, enjoyable physical activity, the research on these programmes is limited and, in some cases, methodologically weak. Additional, well-controlled studies are needed to identify the components of after-school programmes that promote physical activity and to determine the level of activity that can be attained when children and adolescents participate in these programmes.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: The transition from primary to secondary school is a period when physical activity (PA) declines. Interventions delivered during curriculum time have had limited impact on PA. The after-school period may offer a valuable opportunity to increase children’s PA. In order to identify how best to implement after-school PA interventions for older primary school children, more information regarding the provision of after-school clubs is required. This paper examined the current after-school club provision of English primary schools. Methods: All state-funded primary schools in England (n = 15,307) were sent an online questionnaire in two phases during 2013. Schools were asked about the active and non-active after-school clubs on offer to year 5 and year 6 pupils and the days on which they run, the number of children attending each after-school club, who funds the club and who leads the club. Results: Responding schools (501) were reasonably representative of the national profile. Of the 2413 clubs reported, more non-active than active clubs (5.3 vs. 4.8 per school) were described. Football was the most frequently reported activity (offered by 79.5% of schools), with netball and dance being offered by 45.3% and 44.1% of schools, respectively. A high proportion of clubs was funded by schools or parents (88.6%) and more than 40% were led by external parties. Conclusions: A number of PA programmes are provided after-school but current provision is dominated by team sports and thus, there is a need for non-sport specific PA clubs. Furthermore, there is a need to find cost-effective methods of delivering after-school PA programmes.Open Journal of Preventive Medicine 07/2014; 4(7):598-605. DOI:10.4236/ojpm.2014.47069
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ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity affects 1 of every 6 youth in the United States. One contributing factor to this statistic is a lack of physical activity (PA). Demands related to accountability which are placed on educators to demonstrate academic achievement often result in resistance to allocating time during the school day for PA. One possible solution is to consider utilizing time after school to integrate PA programs. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a 12-week after-school pedometer-focused PA program on aerobic capacity and to examine the relationship between step count and aerobic capacity in elementary school aged children. A group of elementary students (n = 24; 9.5 ± 0.9 years) participated in a 12-week pedometer-focused PA program that included pretraining and posttraining fitness testing via the 20-meter version of the PACER test. Paired sample t-tests revealed significant differences between the pretest (M = 21.0 laps, SD = 9.9) and posttest (M = 25.2 laps, SD = 12.2) scores (t = 4.04, P ≤ 0.001). A Pearson correlation revealed no significant relationship between individual step count and the difference between PACER pre- and posttest (r = 0.318, P = 0.130). The program improved aerobic capacity, but an increase in pedometer-calculated step count was not a predictor.The Scientific World Journal 03/2014; 2014:370759. DOI:10.1155/2014/370759 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: After-school hours are considered critical for children's physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors (SB); however, whether the after-school setting influences children's activity patterns is unknown. This study examined the influence of after-school setting (i.e., parent report of the child's usual after-school setting) on 5th grade children's PA and SB, and differences by race/ethnicity. Boys whose parents reported they usually attended an after-school program had higher PA than boys who usually went home after school. A significant interaction between race/ethnicity and after-school setting showed that minority girls whose parents reported they usually attended an after-school program had higher PA and engaged in less SB compared with those who usually went home, whereas the activity patterns of white girls did not differ by after-school setting. Children's usual after-school setting affects their activity patterns; after-school programs may potentially increase PA in boys and minority girls.Health & Place 06/2012; 18(5):951-5. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.06.013 · 2.44 Impact Factor