The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3083.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 8:45 AM

Abstract #55596

Promoting physical activity in middle school students using step counters

Mary J Barry, PhD1, Cecilia Mosca, PhD2, John C. Peters, PhD3, and James O Hill, PhD1. (1) University of Colorado Health Sciences Center-Center for Human Nutrition, 4200 East Ninth Ave C-225, Denver, CO 80262, 303-315-7037,, (2) University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 East Ninth Ave Campus Box F443, Denver, CO 80262, (3) Procter & Gamble Co., 11810 E. Miami River Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45252

Objective: To evaluate the effect of using electronic step counters in conjunction with teacher materials on physical activity in middle school students. Methods: Middle school students participated in their daily activities, wore a step counter for two weeks (baseline), and recorded daily steps. Following the two weeks, teachers were provided written materials (math, science, social studies, and literature) to assist students in increasing their steps over the following ten weeks. Teachers were provided different maps (e.g. Discovery trail) for students to chart their progress. N= 189 adolescents from CMS and N= 266 from FMS participated in the study. Only students who had 2 or more days per week of recorded step data were included in the week data average. Results: Physical activity was assessed as total steps taken. Baseline and follow-up averages of number of steps taken were analyzed using a paired t-test to detect whether mean difference was different from zero. Overall, CMS students had a significant difference between average baseline step counts and the remaining ten week average of step counts. A nearly significant difference was found (p = 0.0611) in girl’s data and a significant difference was found in boys step counts (p = 0.0126) from baseline to the average of weeks 1-10. Overall, FMS students had significant differences (p = 0.0001) as well as differences found in both girls (p = 0.0001) and boys (p = 0.0001) from baseline. Conclusion: A step counter program can be effective in increasing physical activity in middle school students.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Physical Activity, School-Based Programs

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The Ups and Downs of School Physical Activity

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA