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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.

Open access

Artur Direito, Joseph J. Murphy, Matthew Mclaughlin, Jacqueline Mair, Kelly Mackenzie, Masamitsu Kamada, Rachel Sutherland, Shannon Montgomery, Trevor Shilton and on behalf of the ISPAH Early Career Network

Increasing population levels of physical activity (PA) can assist in achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals, benefiting multiple sectors and contributing to global prosperity. Practices and policies to increase PA levels exist at the subnational, national, and international levels. In 2018, the World Health Organization launched the first Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). The GAPPA provides guidance through a framework of effective and feasible policy actions for increasing PA, and requires engagement and advocacy from a wide spectrum of stakeholders for successful implementation of the proposed actions. Early career professionals, including researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, can play a major role with helping “all people being regularly active” by contributing to 4 overarching areas: (1) generation—of evidence, (2) dissemination—of key messages and evidence, (3) implementation—of the evidence-based actions proposed in the GAPPA, and (4) contributing to advocacy for robust national action plans on PA. The contribution of early career professionals can be achieved through 5 pathways: (1) research, (2) workplace/practice, (3) business, (4) policy, and (5) professional and public opinion. Recommendations of how early career professionals can contribute to the generation, dissemination, and implementation of the evidence and actions proposed by the GAPPA are provided.

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.