176214 Influences of a community-based intervention to promote physical activity among youth ages 9-13

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:00 PM

Jen Nickelson, PhD, RD , Department of Health Science, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Moya Alfonso, MSPH, PhD , Jiann Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Julie Baldwin, PhD , Center for Equal Health, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Carol A. Bryant, PhD , Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Rita DeBate, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
David Hogeboom, MSPH , Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Robert J. McDermott, PhD , Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Leah M. Phillips, MPH , University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Zachary Thompson, MS , College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Yiliang Zhu, PhD , College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Background: The influences of physical activity on youth include physiological and mental health benefits in addition to improved academic performance. Multi-component interventions such as community-wide campaigns are recommended to promote physical activity. VERBTM Summer Scorecard (VSS) is a community-based extension of the national media campaign, VERBTM It's what you do, offering tweens (9-13 years) opportunities to be active in their community during the summer months by leveraging local resources, including commercial vendors, to expand action outlets for youth. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of the VSS program on physical activity and trying new activities and sports among tweens exposed to this intervention. Methods: We conducted a post-test only pilot study of 1,253 elementary and middle school students in Sarasota County, Florida. Using a 44-item anonymous questionnaire, data were gathered to assess frequency of vigorous physical activity, days of physical activity per week, frequency of weekend physical activity, and trying a new game or sport. Results: There were statistically significant differences between participants and non-participants regarding days of vigorous physical activity (p=0.010) and the number of physical activity events performed on weekends (p=0.018). Tweens who participated in the program were 2.64 times more likely than non-participants to report 3 or more days of vigorous physical activity and 4.05 times more likely to report physical activity on weekends. Conclusion: These findings support increasing out-of-school opportunities to link tweens with physical activity venues by leveraging resources that increase access to action outlets, thereby reinforcing existing school-based initiatives.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: Describe the components of the community-wide VERBTM Summer Scorecard intervention. Explain the influences of the community-wide intervention on physical activity frequency among tweens. Assess the appropriateness of innovative program elements for translation and application in their own schools and communities.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in the data collection, data analysis, and preparation of manuscripts
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.