222032 Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Saturday Open Gym Physical Activity Promotion: Pilot Study

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Jordan Thomas, BS , Department of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Jessica Hoffman, PhD, NCSP , Department of Counseling & Applied Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Matthew DuBois, MS , Department of Counseling & Applied Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Tara Agrawal, MS , Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Christine Locke Healey, MPH , Office of Child Advocacy, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Shari Nethersole, MD , Office of Child Advocacy, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Carmen Sceppa, MD, PhD , Department of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
There is a very limited availability of age-appropriate, family-oriented, community-based, affordable physical activity (PA) promotion programs for preschool age children. Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Saturday Open Gym (OG) is a community-based PA initiative created for families with 3-8 year old children. The program uses a curriculum adapted from SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and I am Moving, I am Learning. It is offered free of charge and is facilitated by university student activity leaders (SAL). We hypothesized that OG participation would result in: a) high levels of children's participation in vigorous PA during OG; b) high levels of caregiver participation in OG; and c) high levels of SAL involvement during the majority of OG. Structured observations across nearly 1100 intervals were carried out during 7 OG sessions. A modified SOFIT systematic direct observation tool was used to assess child, caregiver and SAL behaviors. An average of 20 families attended each OG session. Ten families and 17 SAL participated in this study. Observations showed that children engaged in standing, walking or vigorous physical activities during 85% of OG intervals observed. By contrast, caregivers engaged in standing, walking or vigorous physical activities during only 50% of the intervals. SAL engaged in instructing, demonstrating and promoting fitness during 64% of OG intervals observed. This presentation will discuss ideas to increase caregiver PA levels during OG. The Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Saturday Open Gym program is a promising model to promote and support an active lifestyle for families of young children.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Saturday Open Gym physical activity promotion model. 2. Evaluate the effects of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Saturday Open Gym program on participantsí activity levels. 3. Discuss the benefits and futures directions of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Saturday Open Gym program.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I coordinate and supervise a community-based program designed to promote physical activity in families with young children.
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.