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.
"None of the studies were conducted in the United Kingdom . A separate 2009 review highlighted weakness in the methods used to evaluate extra-curricular interventions and identified a need for more well-controlled trials . Several studies have been published since the 2009 reviews, which have further shown the potential of the after-school setting . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracurricular programmes could provide a mechanism to increase the physical activity (PA) of primary-school-aged children. The aim of this feasibility study was to examine whether the Action 3:30 intervention, which is delivered by teaching assistants, holds promise as a means of increasing the PA of Year 5 and 6 children.
A cluster randomised feasibility trial was conducted in 20 primary schools. Ten schools received the Action 3:30 intervention and 10 schools were allocated to the control arm. The intervention was 40 one-hour sessions, delivered twice a week by teaching assistants. The proportion of participants recruited per school was calculated. Session delivery and session attendance was calculated for intervention schools. Weekday and after-school (3.30 to 8.30 pm) moderate to vigorous intensity physical (MVPA) was assessed by accelerometer at baseline (T0), during the last few weeks of the intervention (T1) and four months after the intervention had ended (T2). The costs of delivering the intervention were estimated.
Five intervention schools ran all 40 of the intended sessions. Of the remaining five, three ran 39, one ran 38 and one ran 29 sessions. Mean attendance was 53%. The adjusted difference in weekday MVPA at T1 was 4.3 minutes (95% CI −2.6 to 11.3). Sex-stratified analyses indicated that boys obtained 8.6 more minutes of weekday MVPA than the control group (95% CI 2.8 to 14.5) at T1 with no effect for girls (0.15 minutes, 95% CI −9.7 to 10.0). There was no evidence that participation in the programme increased MVPA once the club sessions ceased (T2). The indicative average cost of this intervention was £2,425 per school or £81 per participating child during its first year and £1,461 per school or £49 per participating child thereafter.
The effect of the Action 3:30 intervention was comparable to previous physical activity interventions but further analysis indicated that there was a marked sex difference with a positive impact on boys and no evidence of an effect on girls. The Action 3:30 intervention holds considerable promise but more work is needed to enhance the effectiveness of the intervention, particularly for girls.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 09/2014; 11(1):114. DOI:10.1186/s12966-014-0114-z · 4.11 Impact Factor
"Unfortunately, the majority of child PA interventions have had limited success  . Interventions have mainly been delivered during curriculum hours and are therefore competing with " core " academic subjects, English, mathematics and science  . If curriculum-time PA interventions are not a feasible route for the promotion of child PA, then an alternative approach is needed . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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
"Previous reviews have compared time-segment-specific physical activity across studies or have limited comparisons of weekdays versus weekends [16–19]. Interventions often target particular times of the day, such as school [13, 20], afterschool [12, 21] or recess . However, justification for their target time segment is largely based on pragmatic arguments, such as the ability to recruit a whole school or the possibility to utilise resources and facilities. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Targeting specific time periods of the day or week may enhance physical activity (PA) interventions in youth. The most prudent time segments to target are currently unclear.
To systematically review the literature describing differences in young people’s objectively measured PA on weekdays vs. weekends, in school vs. out of school, weekends vs. out of school and lesson time vs. break time.
Electronic databases were searched for English-language, cross-sectional studies of school-aged children (4–18 years) reporting time-segment-specific accelerometer-measured PA from 01/1990 to 01/2013. We meta-analysed standardised mean differences (SMD) between time segments for mean accelerometer counts per minute (TPA) and minutes in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). SMD is reported in units of standard deviation; 0.2, 0.5 and 0.8 represent small, moderate and large effects. Heterogeneity was explored using meta-regression (potential effect modifiers: age, sex and study setting).
Of the 54 included studies, 37 were eligible for meta-analyses. Children were more active on weekdays than weekends [pooled SMD (95 % CI) TPA 0.14 (0.08; 0.20), MVPA 0.42 (0.35; 0.49)]. On school days, TPA was lower in school than out of school; however, marginally more MVPA was accumulated in school [TPA −0.24 (−0.40; −0.08), MVPA 0.17 (−0.03; 0.38)]. TPA was slightly lower on weekends than out of school on school days, but a greater absolute volume of MVPA was performed on weekends [TPA −0.10 (−0.19; −0.01), MVPA 1.02 (0.82; 1.23)]. Heterogeneity between studies was high (I
2 73.3–96.3 %), with 20.3–53.1 % of variance between studies attributable to potential moderating factors.
School-aged children are more active on weekdays than weekend days. The outcome measure influences the conclusions for other comparisons. Findings support the tailoring of intervention strategies to specific time periods.
Sports Medicine 07/2014; 44(10). DOI:10.1007/s40279-014-0215-5 · 5.04 Impact Factor
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