234919 Increasing the physical activity of children through sports: A five-year review of the development, delivery, and success of the W2W4Life program

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:50 AM

Nina Bell, PhD, MPH, MDip, CFRE , School of Health Sciences, Walden University, Meadville, PA
Decreasing physical education in the schools coupled with the prevalence of childhood obesity prompted the need to increase childhood activities. Using the Multilevel Approach to Community Health (MATCH), the W2W4Life (Way to Win for Life) program was developed to introduce multiple sports to children ages 6-13 in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, and to increase children's physical activity levels. The program utilized a collaborative effort among key community groups working to reduce childhood obesity by increasing physical activities within the school setting. W2W4Life's development involved input from health experts, school districts, a local university's athletics department, dietitians, and data from the county's recent health assessment. Participation involved 150 children in an after-school program operated through the Meadville Family YMCA, 100 7th graders each from Maplewood and Cambridge Springs junior-senior high schools, and 50 home-schooled children. W2W4Life operates in three segments: nutrition, sports safety, and sports participation. Sports taught during this review were bicycling, strength training, basketball, track and field, rugby, fencing, rope jumping, soccer, and swimming. An impact evaluation revealed an increased interest in and knowledge of the sports. An upcoming evaluation [Past Day Physical Activity Report (PDPAR)] will provide statistical data on the actual change in physical activity. The second PDPAR assessment will be performed in May 2011. W2W4Life fills a gap for needed physical exercise for school-aged children and could be adopted as a model for other communities/schools. The project's metamorphosis illustrates the importance of and success obtained through following the MATCH model for community health promotion interventions.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Increase the daily physical activity of children ages 6 through 13. 2. Demonstrate the benefits of collaboration in addressing public health concerns. 3. Formulate a model for increasing physical activity of children that can be used in the nation's schools and/or communities.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the founder of the W2W4Life program as well as the primary researcher for this project, and a doctoral student in public health.
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.