Research Impact Summary: The period after school represents an opportunity to engage children in physical activity programmes in the school settings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of an afterschool programme, delivered in schools, on children’s participation in and attitudes to physical activity. Ten schools took part in this non-randomized controlled trial (five experimental and five control schools). Experimental schools participated in an after-school programme delivered by teachers and parents for 50 minutes per week. Outcome measures included device-measured physical activity, self-report youth physical activity behaviour and parental perceptions of the school environment. Measurements took place at baseline, and mean follow-up was at 10 weeks. Data were collected from 196 participants age 8.1 ± 0.8 years. Mean daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for the entire sample at baseline was 69.9 ± 23.3. Both groups presented a decline in MVPA levels, and there was a significant difference in the change in min/day MVPA from baseline to follow-up between the control group (−13.2 ± 23.9) and the experimental group (−0.9 ± 25.2). Findings indicate that children exposed to the intervention experienced a significantly lower decline in MVPA than their control counterparts. The Be Active ASAP programme may play a role in maintaining physical activity levels of primary-school children.
Murtagh, E., Mulhare, B., Woods, C., Corr, M., & Belton, S. (2022). A pragmatic evaluation of the primary school Be Active After-School Activity Programme (Be Active ASAP). Health Education Research, 36(6), 634-645. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/her/cyab036