Article

Lessons learned from Action Schools! BC - An 'active school' model to promote physical activity in elementary schools

School of Physical Education, University of Victoria, PO Box 3015, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 1L8.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (Impact Factor: 3.08). 11/2006; 9(5):413-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2006.06.013
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The 'active school' model offers promise for promoting school-based physical activity (PA); however, few intervention trials have evaluated its effectiveness. Thus, our purpose was to: (1) describe Action Schools! BC (AS! BC) and its implementation (fidelity and feasibility) and (2) evaluate the impact of AS! BC on school provision of PA. Ten elementary schools were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions: Usual Practice (UP, three schools), Liaison (LS, four schools) or Champion (CS, three schools). Teachers in LS and CS schools received AS! BC training and resources but differed on the level of facilitation provided. UP schools continued with regular PA. Delivery of PA during the 11-month intervention was assessed with weekly Activity Logs and intervention fidelity and feasibility were assessed using Action Plans, workshop evaluations, teacher surveys and focus groups with administrators, teachers, parents and students. Physical activity delivered was significantly greater in LS (+67.4 min/week; 95% CI: 18.7-116.1) and CS (+55.2 min/week; 95% CI: 26.4-83.9) schools than UP schools. Analysis of Action Plans and Activity Logs showed fidelity to the model and moderate levels of compliance (75%). Teachers were highly satisfied with training and support. Benefits of AS! BC included positive changes in the children and school climate, including provision of resources, improved communication and program flexibility. These results support the use of the 'active school' model to positively alter the school environment. The AS! BC model was effective, providing more opportunities for "more children to be more active more often" and as such has the potential to provide health benefits to elementary school children.

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