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Lindsey Turner, Jamie F. Chriqui and Frank J. Chaloupka

Background:

Active transportation to school provides an important way for children to meet physical activity recommendations. The “walking school bus” (WSB) is a strategy whereby adults walk with a group of children to and from school along a fixed route. This study assessed whether school-organized WSB programs varied by school characteristics, district policies, and state laws.

Methods:

School data were gathered by mail-back surveys in nationally representative samples of U.S. public elementary schools during the 2008−2009 and 2009−2010 school years (n = 632 and 666, respectively). Corresponding district policies and state laws were obtained.

Results:

Nationwide, 4.2% of schools organized a WSB program during 2008−2009, increasing to 6.2% by 2009−2010. Controlling for demographic covariates, schools were more likely to organize a WSB program where there was a strong district policy pertaining to safe active routes to school (OR = 2.14, P < .05), or a state law requiring crossing guards around schools (OR = 2.72, P < .05).

Conclusions:

WSB programs are not common but district policies and state laws are associated with an increased likelihood of elementary schools organizing these programs. Policymaking efforts may encourage schools to promote active transportation.

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Kelly R. Evenson, Fang Wen, Sarah M. Lee, Katie M. Heinrich and Amy Eyler

Background:

A Healthy People 2010 developmental objective (22-12) was set to increase the proportion of the nation's public and private schools that provide access to their physical activity spaces and facilities for all persons outside of normal school hours. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of indoor and outdoor facilities at schools and the availability of those facilities to the public in 2000 and 2006.

Methods:

In 2000 and 2006, the School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) was conducted in each state and in randomly selected districts, schools, and classrooms. This analysis focused on the school level questionnaire from a nationally representative sample of public and nonpublic elementary, middle, and high schools (n = 921 in 2000 and n = 984 in 2006).

Results:

No meaningful changes in the prevalence of access to school physical activity facilities were found from 2000 to 2006, for youth or adult community sports teams, classes, or open gym.

Conclusions:

These national data indicate a lack of progress from 2000 and 2006 toward increasing the proportion of the nation's public and private schools that provide access to their physical activity facilities for all persons outside of normal school hours.

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Martin Camiré

Adult leaders in sport can exert considerable influence on young athletes’ development but this influence is mediated by the quality of the relationship that is formed between both parties. The purpose of the current study was to examine high school teacher-coaches’ perspective on relationship building with student-athletes. Teacher-coaches (20 men, 5 women, Mage = 37.0 years, age range: 25–56 years) from Canada took part in semistructured interviews. Results indicated how the participants believed being both a teacher and a coach was advantageous because it allowed them to interact regularly with student-athletes. The teacher-coaches devised a number of strategies (e.g., early-season tournaments, regular team meetings) to nurture relationships and believed their recurrent interactions allowed them to exert a more positive influence on student-athletes than adult leaders in a single role. In terms of outcomes, the teacher-coaches believed their dual role helped increase their job satisfaction, positively influenced their identity, and allowed them to help student-athletes through critical family (e.g., alcoholism, divorce) and personal issues (e.g., suicide). The current study suggests that the dual role of teacher-coach is beneficial to both teacher-coaches and student-athletes. However, future work is needed, paying attention to how teacher-coaches can further nurture quality relationships with student-athletes.

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Xuemei Zhu, Chanam Lee, Oi-Man Kwok and James W. Varni

Background:

A growing number of studies have examined correlates of walking-to/from-school behaviors. However, the potential differences across neighborhoods have been understudied. To address this knowledge gap, this study compared 4 elementary school settings (low-income inner-city; mid- to low-income, urban with and without freeway in attendance area; and high-income suburban) in Austin, Texas.

Methods:

Parental surveys (n = 680, response rate = 25%) were analyzed using binary logistic regressions to identify correlates of walking to/from school for each setting. Five focus groups were conducted with 15 parents and analyzed using content analysis to supplement the survey results.

Results:

Parents’ personal barrier was the only consistently significant variable across 4 settings (OR = 0.113−0.463, P < .05). Parental education showed contrasting results between the suburban setting (OR = 3.895, P < .01) and the urban setting with freeway presence (OR = 0.568, P < .05). Personal attitude and walking habit had lower explanatory power in lower-income settings than in the higher-income site. But sociodemographic, physical environment, and safety conditions had greater explanatory power in lower-income settings. Freeway barrier was significant in the inner-city setting (OR = 0.029, P < .05) and the urban setting with freeway presence (OR = 0.142, P < .05).

Conclusions:

Significant differences in correlates of walking-to/from-school behaviors were found across the 4 elementary school settings, suggesting the importance of context-sensitive approaches in future research and practice.

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Stéphanie Turgeon, Kelsey Kendellen, Sara Kramers, Scott Rathwell and Martin Camiré

Sport is one of the most popular extracurricular activities for high school students in Canada and the United States. In Canada, high school sports are practiced by over 750,000 student-athletes throughout the country ( School Sport Canada, 2018 ). In the United States, high school sport

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Erika Rees-Punia, Alicia Holloway, David Knauft and Michael D. Schmidt

the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day. 5 Further, children in this age group spend over 41% of their waking hours sedentary. 6 Given the proportion of time children spend in the classroom, schools are an ideal domain for positively impacting physical

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Catarina Vasques, Pedro Magalhães, António Cortinhas, Paula Mota, José Leitão and Vitor Pires Lopes

Background:

This meta-analysis study aims to assess the efficacy of school-based and after-school intervention programs on the BMIs of child and adolescents, addressing the correlation between some moderating variables.

Methods:

We analyzed 52 studies (N = 28,236) published between 2000–2011.

Results:

The overall effect size was 0.068 (P < .001), school (r = .069) and after-school intervention (r = .065). Programs conducted with children aged between 15–19 years were the most effective (r = .133). Interventions programs with boys and girls show better effect sizes (r = .110) than programs that included just girls (r = .073). There were no significant differences between the programs implemented in school and after-school (P = .770). The effect size was higher in interventions lasting 1 year (r = .095), with physical activity and nutritional education (r = .148), and that included 3–5 sessions of physical activity per week (r = .080). The effect size also increased as the level of parental involvement increased.

Conclusions:

Although of low magnitude (r = .068), the intervention programs had a positive effect in prevention and decreasing obesity in children. This effect seems to be higher in older children’s, involving interventions with physical activity and nutritional education combined, with parent’s participation and with 1-year duration. School or after-school interventions had a similar effect.

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Nicola D. Ridgers, Stuart J. Fairclough and Gareth Stratton

Background:

Recess is an opportunity for children to engage in daily physical activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the 12-month effects of a playground intervention on children’s moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) during morning and lunchtime recess.

Methods:

Four hundred and seventy children (232 boys, 238 girls) from 26 elementary schools participated in the study. Fifteen schools redesigned the playground environment using playground markings and physical structures. Eleven schools served as socioeconomic matched controls. Physical activity levels were quantified using heart rate and accelerometry at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months post-intervention. A 3-level (time, pupil, and school) multilevel analysis was used to determine the effects of the intervention across time on MVPA and VPA.

Results:

Positive yet nonsignificant intervention effects were found for MVPA and VPA during morning and lunchtime recess. Intervention children were more active during recess than control children. Interactions revealed that the intervention effect was stronger at 6 months than 12 months post-intervention.

Conclusions:

A playground markings and physical structures intervention had a positive effect on intervention children’s morning and lunchtime MVPA and VPA when assessed using heart rate and accelerometry, but this effect is strongest 6-months post-intervention and decreased between 6 months and 12 months.

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Thomas L. McKenzie, James F. Sallis, Paul Rosengard and Kymm Ballard

SPARK [Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids], in its current form, is a brand that represents a collection of exemplary, research-based, physical education and physical activity programs that emphasize a highly active curriculum, on-site staff development, and follow-up support. Given its complexity (e.g., multiple school levels, inclusion of both physical education and self-management curricula), SPARK features both diverse instructional and diverse curricular models. SPARK programs were initially funded by the NIH as two separate elementary and middle school intervention studies, and the curriculum and instructional models used in them embody the HOPE (Health Optimizing Physical Education) model. This paper reviews background information and studies from both the initial grants (1989–2000) and the dissemination (1994-present) phases of SPARK, identifies program evolution, and describes dissemination efforts and outcomes. Procedures used in SPARK may serve as models for others interested in researching and disseminating evidence-based physical education and physical activity programs.

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Riley Galloway, Robert Booker and Scott Owens

importance of maintaining childhood preferences when promoting PA ( Kim & Lochbaum, 2017 ) and programs for physical education. During school hours, physical education, recess, and classroom-based activities should offer children opportunities to engage in both the recommended amounts of moderate to vigorous