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Michelle E. Jordan, Kent Lorenz, Michalis Stylianou and Pamela Hodges Kulinna

This study examined classroom teachers’ involvement in a yearlong Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP) implemented in one K-8 rural U.S. school district. Its purpose was to describe patterns of social interaction among teachers, administrators, and families associated with the intervention (i.e., social capital) and whether those interactions were associated with teachers’ program participation. Twenty-two teachers’ social capital as related to CSPAP activities was measured using a validated social capital instrument for teachers four times across one academic year and teachers reported their participation during wellness weeks. Regression and RM-ANOVA were used to analyse the data. Teacher social capital was significantly positively related to implementation of physical activity breaks. The more often a classroom teacher spoke with someone else, the greater the likelihood of that teacher leading a physical activity break. This study provides evidence for the importance of social capital in supporting the implementation of CSPAPs.

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Kent A. Lorenz, Hans van der Mars, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Barbara E. Ainsworth and Melbourne F. Hovell

Background:

Increasing access and opportunity for physical activity (PA) in schools are effective; however, not everyone experiences the same effects. Prompting and reinforcement may encourage more frequent participation in recreational PA during the school day. The purpose of this study was to investigate a lunchtime PA intervention on whole school PA participation and whether behavioral support enhanced these effects.

Methods:

A modified reversal design compared an environmental and an environmental plus behavioral support intervention on lunchtime PA participation versus baseline levels in a suburban junior high school in the western United States (N = 1452). PA and related contextual data were collected using systematic observation.

Results:

Significantly more girls and boys were observed in PA during the interventions compared with baseline phases (F 2,1173 = 13.52, P < .0001, η2 = .023; F 2,1173 = 20.14, P < .0001, η2 = .033, for girls and boys, respectively). There were no significant differences between the environmental phase and the environment plus behavioral support phase.

Conclusion:

Providing access and opportunity significantly increased the number of girls and boys observed in PA during a lunchtime program, with no additive effects of behavioral support. Further research into providing the individual-level contingencies at an institutional level is needed.