Effect of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program on School Day Step Counts in Children

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programming (CSPAP) has the potential to increase physical activity (PA) in children over time. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of CSPAP on school day step counts in children.

Methods:

Participants were 327 fourth and fifth grade children recruited from 4 elementary schools. The study was conducted within an Interrupted Time-Series Design framework. School day step counts were collected for 5 days across preintervention and postintervention time-points (10 days total) using NL-1000 piezoelectric pedometers. Robust piecewise regression examined pre- and postintervention intercepts and slopes, and the change in these parameters using postestimation statistics.

Results:

The slope coefficient was statistically significant across preintervention (β = –105.23, P < .001) but not postintervention time-points (β = –63.23, P = .347), suggesting decreases in steps counts across preintervention and stability of step counts across postintervention school days. Postestimation statistics yielded increases in school day step counts from the end of preintervention (day 5) to the start of postintervention (day 6; t(319) = –4.72, P < .001, Cohen’s d = 4.72).

Conclusions:

The CSPAP intervention increased average school day step counts and attenuated decreases in step counts throughout the school week in children.

Burns (ryan.d.burns@utah.edu) and Brusseau are with the Dept of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. Hannon is with the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.

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