Developing Interventions for Children’s Exercise (DICE): A Pilot Evaluation of School-Based Exercise Interventions for Primary School Children Aged 7 to 8 Years

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Developing Interventions for Children’s Exercise (DICE) is an initiative aimed at determining effective schoolbased exercise programs. To assess feasibility, we conducted a pilot study of exercise sessions which varied in duration and frequency.

Methods:

Exercise interventions were delivered to Year 3 pupils (age 7–8 years; n = 73) in primary schools within Yorkshire, UK. Evaluations were conducted using focus group sessions, questionnaires and observations.

Results:

The study revealed positive aspects of all interventions, including favorable effects on children’s concentration during lessons and identified the value of incorporation of the DICE concept into curriculum lessons. Children appeared enthused and reported well-being and enjoyment. Areas requiring attention were the need for appropriate timetabling of sessions and ensuring the availability of space.

Conclusion:

The concept and sessions were well-accepted by teachers who confirmed their full support of any future implementation There appears to be potential for the encouragement and empowerment of teachers to support physical activity and healthy school environments, and to take an interest in the health of their pupils. Ultimately, these findings should assist in the design of successful exercise interventions in the school setting.

Hind, McKenna, Daly-Smith, Truscott, and Jennings are with the Carnegie Research Institute, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Torgerson and Ashby are with the Clinical Trials Unit, University of York, York, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom. MacKay is with the Centre for Hip Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.