173307 Creating physical activity opportunities in after school programs: Findings from the after school physical activity environmental assessment in the Healthy Eating Active Communities (HEAC) program

Monday, October 27, 2008: 2:48 PM

Liz Schwarte, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Brian Cole, DrPH , Department of Health Services, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Sallie C. Yoshida, DrPH, RD , Public Health Nutrition Consultant, Albany, CA
Arnell Hinkle, MPH, RD , CANFIT (Community Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness ), Berkeley, CA
Krista Stiffler, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sarah Stone-Francisco, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sarah Samuels, DrPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Background/Introduction: The goal of The California Endowment's HEAC program is to reduce childhood obesity by improving food and physical activity environments through policy change across five sectors in six low-income communities in California. One of these influential sectors is the after school setting.

Purpose: To share findings from the HEAC after school physical activity environmental assessment.

Methods: The physical activity environmental assessment included 19 diverse school- and community-based after school programs across California. Baseline data were collected in the spring of 2005 using an observational tool to document physical activity programming and an adapted version of the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) to measure physical activity levels.

Findings: Results from the environmental assessment highlight the type, duration and frequency of physical activity programming in after school programs including competitive and non-competitive activities. Findings from the physical activity level observation demonstrate that longer (30 + minutes) physical activity sessions increase levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Together, these findings demonstrate that after school programs play an important role in improving physical activity opportunities and help youth achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

Learning Objectives:
• Articulate the role of after school programs in providing physical activity opportunities. • Discuss the characteristics of after school physical activity sessions that maximize participants’ levels of MVPA. • Discuss policy opportunities for improving physical activity environments in after school environments.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health researcher and I was a member of the research team that conducted the research discussed in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.