Effects of a Curriculum-Integrated Dance Program on Children’s Physical Activity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Curriculum-integrated dance programs are a promising but relatively under-researched strategy for increasing children’s physical activity (PA). The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a curriculum-integrated dance program on children’s PA. Methods: A total of 134 primary children aged 7–9 years from 4 New Zealand schools were assigned to either a dance group (n = 78) or a control group (n = 56). The dance group participated in a 6-week curriculum-integrated dance program during school time. Although the dance program focused on curricular learning, fitness and coordination were embedded in the dance sessions. Intensity of PA varied according to the focus of each dance session. PA was measured at baseline and postintervention using a waist-mounted ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer for 8 consecutive days. Results: There were no significant intervention effects on PA levels between the dance and control groups postintervention. Conclusion: Dance-embedded learning did not increase overall levels of PA in this study. Future studies may consider assessing longer term effects of a dance-based intervention, or programs that place more focus on PA promotion.

The authors are with the School of Sport and Recreation, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sharma (geeta.sharma@aut.ac.nz) is corresponding author.
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