After-School Program Impact on Physical Activity and Fitness. A Meta-Analysis

Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 04/2009; 36(6):527-37. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.01.033
Source: PubMed


The majority of children do not participate in sufficient amounts of daily, health-enhancing physical activity. One strategy to increase activity is to promote it within the after-school setting. Although promising, the effectiveness of this strategy is unclear. A systematic review was performed summarizing the research conducted to date regarding the effectiveness of after-school programs in increasing physical activity.
Databases, journals, and review articles were searched for articles published between 1980 and February 2008. Meta-analysis was conducted during July of 2008. Included articles had the following characteristics: findings specific to an after-school intervention in the school setting; subjects aged <or=18 years; an intervention component designed to promote physical activity; outcome measures of physical activity, related constructs, and/or physical fitness. Study outcomes were distilled into six domains: physical activity, physical fitness, body composition, blood lipids, psychosocial constructs, and sedentary activities. Effect sizes (Hedge's g) were calculated within and across studies for each domain, separately.
Of the 797 articles found, 13 unique articles describing findings from 11 after-school interventions were reviewed. Although physical activity was a primary component of all the tested interventions, only eight studies measured physical activity. From the six domains, positive effect sizes were demonstrated for physical activity (0.44 [95% CI=0.28-0.60]); physical fitness (0.16 [95% CI=0.01-0.30]); body composition (0.07 [95% CI=0.03-0.12]); and blood lipids (0.20 [95% CI=0.06-0.33]).
The limited evidence suggests that after-school programs can improve physical activity levels and other health-related aspects. Additional studies are required that provide greater attention to theoretical rationale, levels of implementation, and measures of physical activity within and outside the intervention.

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    • "Recent research has suggested this model may be an effective way to increase physical activity (reaching the goal of 60-minutes a day) and improve self-efficacy, self-esteem and self-worth (CDC, 2013; Centeio et al., 2014; Colchico et al., 2000; Erwin et al., 2013). After-school physical activity programmes in particular have shown promise as effective ways to increase physical activity (Beets et al., 2009; Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2003). However, little is known about the factors that lead students to voluntarily attend these after-school physical activity programmes, especially high-school students who represent the least active youth population (Broderson et al., 2006). "
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    • "Levels of engagement/involvement and awareness of implementers Position reviews [106]. Systematic reviews [44, 48, 99]. Stakeholders' documents [40]. "

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    • "Recess and Physical Education (PE) are examples of organizational opportunities found to be related to PA during school hours (Guinhouya et al., 2009). Locations such as playgrounds (Quigg et al., 2010; Reed and Hooker, 2012) and urban green space (Lachowycz et al., 2012; Wheeler et al., 2010) or facilities such as sports facilities (Niclasen et al., 2012), school grounds (Dencker et al., 2012), clubs (after school programs in Denmark) (Beets et al., 2009), and shopping centres (Oreskovic et al., 2012) are all potential subdomains for PA during leisure time as they seem to be positively correlated with PA. Within the transport domain active and passive transport are two distinct PA behaviours (Heath et al., 2012). "
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