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Original Research The Take PART Study (Physical Activity Research for Teenagers): Rationale and Methods

170 – 177

Background: The Take PART study—Physical Activity Research for Teenagers—was undertaken to assess (1) physical activity and sedentary behaviors, (2) indices of health and fitness, and (3) to provide information, from a social ecological perspective, on the correlates of physical activity in a large sample of 15- to 17-year-old Irish adolescents. This manuscript outlines the rationale and methodology of the Take PART study. Methods: A sample of 4720 students (mean age = 16.03 years ± 0.66, range 15 to 17 years; 49.5% female) participated. Fifty participants were assessed during each 3-hour school visit, with a ratio of 1 researcher to 10 students. Standardized testing procedures and extensive researcher training ensured that intertester and intratester reliability for all physical measures was .85. The height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, blood pressure, and cardiorespiratory fitness protocols are explained. The questionnaire used well-known, valid, and reliable self-report measures. Where appropriate, additional psychometric testing was undertaken. Conclusions: Take PART is a school-based study. Its methods are simple, easy to replicate, financially viable, and scientifically valid. Its unique dataset will allow the evaluation of a social ecological approach as a viable option for improving understanding of youth inactivity. Ultimately, this knowledge will assist in successful intervention design.

Authors: Catherine B. Woods, Norah M. Nelson, Eimear Foley, Niall M. Moyna

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