Introduction: Empirical examinations of the efficacy of community-based programs to increase and sustain physical activity among youth are lacking. This study describes changes in vigorous physical activity during a 3-year period among children aged 9 to 13 years (tweens) in Lexington, Kentucky, following introduction of the VERB Summer Scorecard (VSS) intervention.
Methods: A community coalition, guided by a marketing plan that addressed motivators for tweens to participate in physical activity, designed and implemented VSS. Youth used a scorecard to monitor their physical activity, which was verified by adults. There were 3,428 students surveyed in 2004; 1,976 in 2006; and 2,051 in 2007 (mean age for 2004, 2006, and 2007, 12 y). For each year, we performed Χ2 tests and computed summary statistics for age, sex, and grade. Chi-square tests and cumulative logit models were used to analyze physical activity trends among VSS participants, VSS nonparticipants, and a reference group.
Results: The proportion of youth who reported frequent vigorous physical activity increased from 32% in 2004 to 42% in 2007. The proportion of VSS participants with moderate or high levels of vigorous physical activity increased by approximately 17 percentage points, more than twice the proportion of nonparticipants.
Conclusion: Interventions such as VSS may empower communities to take action to encourage greater physical activity among youth.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/moya_alfonso/4/