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Activities beyond sports (ABS): An alternative physical education program

Grace E. Cho1, Karen I. Ambrowitz1, David Evans, PhD2, and Sandeep R. Chaudhari, MS3. (1) Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health/Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, 1051 Vail Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054, 973-214-7291, gec2010@columbia.edu, (2) Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, Room CHS-745, Pediatric Pulmonary Division, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, (3) Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health/Biostatistics, Columbia University, 4 Skytop Gardens, Apt. #24, Parlin, NJ 08859

Expanding students’ perspective of physical activity to “activities beyond sports” is the goal of the ABS (Activities Beyond Sports) pilot intervention study. This April, high school students from Jersey City, NJ will be introduced to alternative activities, including martial arts, yoga, pilates and dance, as part of their physical education class. We hypothesize that this intervention will positively influence enjoyment, attitudes, beliefs and self-efficacy, the main determinants of physical activity, resulting in increased activity levels and fitness, and reduced BMI. To our knowledge, no other study has tested alternative forms of physical activity in a modified school physical education program with both minority boys and girls in an urban setting. Its importance is suggested by research findings that 1) physical activity levels can be increased by making activities more enjoyable; and 2) the ineffectiveness of physical activity interventions, especially among high school minority youth, is partly due to our lack of understanding of the predictors of physical activity and how to influence them. Equally important, ABS connects students and the school to community resources for physical activity, as suggested by the CDC. Data will be presented on predictors of physical activity, including enjoyment, attitudes, beliefs, and self-efficacy, and on activity levels, fitness, and BMI. If the program is successful, we will follow up to see if students continue to practice these alternative forms of physical activity either at home, in the community through arrangements with participating businesses, or at school through an expanded physical education program.

Learning Objectives: Attendees of this poster session will be able to

Keywords: Physical Activity, Obesity

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.

School Health Posters: Obesity Prevention

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA