Physical Activity Interventions During Childhood and Adolescence: A Narrative Umbrella Review Addressing Characteristics, Conclusions, and Gaps in Knowledge

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Karin A. Pfeiffer Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

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Katherine L. McKee Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA

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Cailyn A. Van Camp Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

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Kimberly A. Clevenger Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA

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Given the multifaceted nature of physical activity behavior in children and adolescents, researchers have conducted myriad intervention studies designed to increase physical activity across many populations, study designs, contexts, and settings. This narrative review overviews the characteristics, conclusions, and research gaps/future directions indicated in prior reviews of interventions to promote physical activity in youth and identifies potential knowledge gaps. Seven databases were searched for articles published between January 2012 and September 2022. A predetermined list of characteristics of included reviews was extracted. Reviews (n = 68) concluded that interventions were generally effective. Little attention was paid to implementation, theoretical framework was only addressed in about half of reviews, and only a quarter specifically examined individuals from underrepresented groups. Family, community, and policy work are needed, and overarching reviews such as this study should occasionally occur given the high number of reviews focusing on specific populations or settings.

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