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: 3.19). 11/2006; 9(5):413-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2006.06.013
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Heather M Macdonald, Apr 22, 2015
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    • "A key strategy of Action Schools! BC was to increase physical activity breaks in the classroom [39,40]. While the DPA guidelines did not directly target PE time, we found that many schools opted to increase PE time to meet the provincial guidelines. "
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    ABSTRACT: High rates of childhood obesity have generated interest among policy makers to improve the school food environment and increase students' levels of physical activity. The purpose of this study was to examine school-level changes associated with implementation of the Food and Beverage Sales in Schools (FBSS) and Daily Physical Activity (DPA) guidelines in British Columbia, Canada. Elementary and middle/high school principals completed a survey on the school food and physical activity environment in 2007-08 (N = 513) and 2011-12 (N = 490). Hierarchical mixed effects regression was used to examine changes in: 1) availability of food and beverages; 2) minutes per day of Physical Education (PE); 3) delivery method of PE; and 4) school community support. Models controlled for school enrollment and community type, education and income. After policy implementation was expected, more elementary schools provided access to fruits and vegetables and less to 100% fruit juice. Fewer middle/high schools provided access to sugar-sweetened beverages, French fries, baked goods, salty snacks and chocolate/candy. Schools were more likely to meet 150 min/week of PE for grade 6 students, and offer more minutes of PE per week for grade 8 and 10 students including changes to PE delivery method. School community support for nutrition and physical activity policies increased over time. Positive changes to the school food environment occurred after schools were expected to implement the FBSS and DPA guidelines. Reported changes to the school environment are encouraging and provide support for guidelines and policies that focus on increasing healthy eating and physical activity in schools.
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 04/2014; 11(1):50. DOI:10.1186/1479-5868-11-50 · 4.11 Impact Factor
    • "Schools! BC intervention, Naylor et al. (2006) held focus groups with both teachers and children, separately, and telephone interviews with administrators. These highlighted the need, when attempting to embed such programmes in schools, to involve teachers and administrators in the planning stage to identify practices and processes that are acceptable to them, as well as to give the children choice and variety in the physical activities employed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The association between physical activity/fitness with cognitive and academic functioning has become a topic of considerable research interest. Increasingly, schooling systems are being expected to respond to these relationships through curricular and extra-curricular interventions. Purpose: This paper reports on the qualitative findings of the impact of the Active Kids Active Minds (AKAM) intervention that included one hour of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity for the promotion of learning in a regional primary school in Australia. It gives student and teacher voice to the corpus of literature on physical activity and academic performance intervention studies that are gaining momentum in the bid to justify and promote forms of school-based physical activity. Participants: Twelve Year 5 students, their classroom teachers, and the school principal's perspectives are shared in this paper. They were key informants from 107 students and 5 teachers who participated in the intervention. Data collection: Students, their classroom teachers, and the school principal were interviewed individually or in groups by a member of the research team. Researcher field observations, along with a diary kept by the dedicated AKAM teacher, were used to interrogate the complexity and pragmatics of both delivering the intervention and succeeding in the intervention. Data analysis: Transcribed interviews were reviewed independently by the authors for recurring themes. Field observations and the AKAM teacher diary were used to triangulate interview data. Findings: Data suggested that the intervention group benefited from and welcomed the additional daily physical activity when it offered high time-on-task, fun, and reflected students' interests. The intervention design with a dedicated physical activity leader and professional development support seemingly promoted teachers' confidence and enthusiasm. Conclusions: While this intervention was designed to complement physical education, we raise questions about how physical activity in schools may be channelled towards a new wave of instrumental outcomes.
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    • "On the other hand, a body mass-based exercise such as a jump and squat can be performed without space or equipment concerns, and may not be too time demanding with large populations. Mackay and colleagues (Macdonald et al., 2008; MacKelvie et al., 2003; McKay et al., 2005; Naylor et al., 2006) have demonstrated that a 10-to 12-min body mass-based jump training improved bone mineral content, body composition and jump performances, and suggested that the body mass-based jump training increases physical activity opportunities throughout the school day (Naylor et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of body mass-based squat training on body composition, muscular strength and motor fitness in adolescent boys. Ninety-four boys (13.7 ± 0.6 yrs, 1.60 ± 0.09 m, 50.2 ± 9.6 kg) participated in this study and were randomly assigned to training (n = 36) or control (n = 58) groups. The training group completed body mass-based squat exercise training (100 reps/day, 45 sessions) for 8 weeks. Body composition and muscle thickness at the thigh anterior were determined by a bioelectrical impedance analyzer and ultrasound apparatus, respectively. Maximal voluntary knee extension strength and sprint velocity were measured using static myometer and non-motorized treadmill, respectively. Jump height was calculated using flight time during jumping, which was measured by a matswitch system. The 8-wk body mass-based squat training significantly decreased percent body fat (4.2%) and significantly increased the lean body mass (2.7%), muscle thickness (3.2%) and strength of the knee extensors (16.0%), compared to control group. The vertical jump height was also significantly improved by 3.4% through the intervention. The current results indicate that body mass-based squat training for 8 weeks is a feasible and effective method for improving body composition and muscular strength of the knee extensors, and jump performance in adolescent boys. Key pointsAn 8-wk body mass-based squat exercise training decreased percent body fat in adolescent boys.The body mass-based squat exercise training increased muscle size and strength capability of the knee extensors in adolescent boys.The squat exercise training improves vertical jump height in adolescent boys.
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