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Nicole McCarthy, Kirsty Hope, Rachel Sutherland, Elizabeth Campbell, Rebecca Hodder, Luke Wolfenden and Nicole Nathan

Background: To determine Australian primary school principals’, teachers’, and parents’ attitudes to changing school uniform policies to allow students to wear sports uniforms every day and to assess associations between participant characteristics and their attitudes. A secondary aim was to identify principals’ and teachers’ perceived barriers to uniform changes. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys of principals, teachers, and parents of children in grades 2 to 3 (age 7–10 y) from 62 Australian primary schools (Oct 2017–Mar 2018) were undertaken. Mixed logistic regression analyses assessed the associations between participant characteristics and attitudes toward uniform changes. Results: In total, 73% of the principals (38/52) who responded reported that their school only allowed children to wear a sports uniform on sports days. Overall, 38% of the principals (18/47), 63% of the teachers (334/579), and 78% of the parents (965/1231) reported they would support a policy that allowed children to wear daily sports uniforms. The most commonly reported barrier was the perception that sports uniforms were not appropriate for formal occasions. Conclusions: Although the majority of the principals were not supportive of a change to a daily sports uniform, the majority of the teachers and parents were. Strategies to improve principal support may be required if broader adoption of physical activity–supporting uniforms is to be achieved.

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Lubna Abdul Razak, Tara Clinton-McHarg, Jannah Jones, Sze Lin Yoong, Alice Grady, Meghan Finch, Kirsty Seward, Edouard Tursan d’Espaignet, Rimante Ronto, Ben Elton and Luke Wolfenden

Background: Identifying factors influencing the implementation of evidence-based environmental recommendations to promote physical activity in childcare services is required to develop effective implementation strategies. This systematic review aimed to: (1) identify barriers and facilitators reported by center-based childcare services impacting the implementation of environmental recommendations to increase physical activity among children, (2) synthesize these factors according to the 14 domains of the “Theoretical Domains Framework,” and (3) report any associations between service or provider characteristics and the reported implementation of such recommendations. Methods: Electronic searches were conducted in 6 scientific databases (eg, MEDLINE) and Google Scholar to identify studies reporting data from childcare staff or other stakeholders responsible for childcare operations. Included studies were based on childcare settings and published in English. From 2164 identified citations, 19 articles met the inclusion criteria (11 qualitative, 4 quantitative, and 4 mixed methods). Results: Across all articles, the majority of factors impacting implementation fell into the “environmental context and resources” domain (eg, time, equipment, and space; n = 19) and the “social influences” domain (eg, support from parents, colleagues, supervisors; n = 11). Conclusion: The current review provides guidance to improve the implementation of environmental recommendations in childcare services by addressing environmental, resource, and social barriers.

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Jennifer McConnell-Nzunga, Katie A. Weatherson, Louise Masse, Valerie Carson, Guy Faulkner, Erica Lau, Heather McKay, Viviene Temple, Luke Wolfenden and Patti J. Naylor

Background: Physical activity (PA) is critical to early child development, and child care is a key setting for promotion. The authors investigated differences in daily PA and sedentary behavior practices as well as physical environments between family child care (FCC) and group child care (GCC) settings for children aged 3–5 years in Canada. Methods: Group child care (n = 581) and FCC (n = 357) managers completed surveys assessing the implementation of PA promoting practices and description of their environments. Crosstabulation and chi-square tests of association were used to examine differences between GCC and FCC. Results: The prevalence of facilities implementing 120 minutes of active play (odds ratio [OR] 2.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.58–3.15), <30 minutes on screens (OR 1.35; 95% CI, 1.02–1.80), and 60-minute outdoors daily (OR 1.99; 95% CI, 1.4–2.9) was more likely in FCC compared with GCC. However, implementation of fundamental movement skill activities (OR 1.40; 95% CI, 1.01–1.92), breaking up prolonged sitting (OR 1.86; 95% CI, 1.36–2.5), and outdoor space for large group running games (OR 1.74; 95% CI, 1.07–2.83) were more likely in GCC. Conclusions: Child care setting was associated with daily PA and sedentary practices and outdoor space for PA. Interventions to support PA in child care should be tailored to different settings and the facilitators explored.

Open access

Nicole K. Nathan, Rachel L. Sutherland, Kirsty Hope, Nicole J. McCarthy, Matthew Pettett, Ben Elton, Rebecca Jackson, Stewart G. Trost, Christophe Lecathelinais, Kathryn Reilly, John H. Wiggers, Alix Hall, Karen Gillham, Vanessa Herrmann and Luke Wolfenden

Aim: To assess the impact of a multistrategy intervention designed to improve teachers’ implementation of a school physical activity (PA) policy on student PA levels. Methods: A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in 12 elementary schools. Policy implementation required schools to deliver 150 minutes of organized PA for students each week via physical education, sport, or class-based activities such as energizers. Schools received implementation support designed using the theoretical domains framework to help them implement the current policy. Results: A total of 1,502 children in kindergarten to grade 6 participated. At follow-up compared with control, students attending intervention schools had, measured via accelerometer, significantly greater increases in school day counts per minute (97.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 64.5 to 130.4; P < .001) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (3.0; 95% CI, 2.2–3.8, P < .001) and a greater decrease in sedentary time (−2.1; 95% CI, −3.9 to −0.4, P = .02) per school day. Teachers in intervention schools delivered significantly more minutes (36.6 min) of PA to their students at follow-up (95% CI, 2.7–70.5, P = .04). Conclusions: Supporting teachers to implement a PA policy improves student PA. Additional strategies may be needed to support teachers to implement activities that result in larger gains in student MVPA.