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Assessing the effectiveness of a naturally occurring population-level physical activity intervention for children
Public Health
  • C. Smith, Western University
  • A. F. Clark, Western University
  • P. Wilk, Western University
  • P. Tucker, Western University
  • J. A. Gilliland, Western University
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The aim of the study was to assess the impact of a recreation access pass on grade 5 children's physical activity (PA) levels. Study design

This is a pre-post evaluation of a population-level community-based intervention. Methods

All grade 5 students in (London, Ontario, Canada) were invited to participate in the [ACT-i-Pass] program (G5AP) in May 2014. A total of 643 children completed surveys, that included Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C), at baseline (October 2014) and 6-month follow-up (April 2015). Difference in the means t-test compared PAQ-C scores between baseline and follow-up for the sample and subgroups. Multiple regression analysis tested associations between change in PAQ-C scores and intrapersonal-, interpersonal-, and physical environment-level variables. Results

PA increased significantly from baseline to 6-month follow-up. Girls, visible minorities, immigrants, and children with low parental support experienced significant increases in PA. Regression found girls benefitted from the G5AP significantly more than boys, and lower parental support is related to increases in PA. Conclusion

The findings indicate that collaboratively developed, community-based interventions can significantly increase children's PA levels, particularly among subgroups with traditionally lower PA. The pre-post evaluation of this community-based intervention provides useful evidence for developing policies and programs aimed at making population-level improvements in children's PA levels.


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Citation Information
C. Smith, A. F. Clark, P. Wilk, P. Tucker, et al.. "Assessing the effectiveness of a naturally occurring population-level physical activity intervention for children" Public Health Vol. 178 (2020) p. 62 - 71
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