Online Program

A Pilot Evaluation of a Before School Incentive-based Physical Activity Program at the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington, VT

Monday, November 2, 2015

Bernice Raveche Garnett, MPH, ScD, Department of Education, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Danielle Vierling, Integrated Arts Academy, Burlington, VT
Cara Gleason, MSW, Integrated Arts Academy, Burlington
Kelly Becker, MA, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Danielle DiCenzo, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Louise Mongeon, MEd, RN, Integrated Arts Academy, Burlington, VT
Background: Currently, less than half of American youth are getting the recommended levels of daily physical activity requirement. To address this gap, the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) recently revised the Education Quality of Standards (EQS) to include a new regulation encouraging K-12 schools to offer at least 30 minutes of physical activity outside of traditional physical education classes. Move it Move it! is a voluntary morning running/walking program designed to build community, increase fitness and better prepare students for learning.

Methods: A mixed-methods pilot evaluation of Move it Move it! was conducted in the Spring of 2014 to assess the impact of a before school physical activity program on three domains of child health and development: academic, social, and physical. Self reported surveys were administered to all consented students in grades 3-5 (N=129). Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with classroom teachers and school administrators (N=5) and with the Move it Move it! implementation team (N=4).

Results: Move it Move it! miles was significantly associated with decreased bullying victimization and positively associated with perceived control over body. Average Move it Move it! miles ran/walked was a significant predictor of NECAP math testing scores. Interviews with school staff confirmed quantitative results.

Conclusion: Preliminary results of the pilot evaluation suggest positive academic and behavioral outcomes associated with engagement in a before-school incentive-based physical activity program. Innovative, low cost, evidence-based models of integrating physical activity throughout the school day are needed for Vermont schools to comply with the revised EQS.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the implementation of a before school incentive-based physical activity program. Discuss the impact of incentives on participant engagement and program sustainability. Demonstrate the utility and purpose of using a mixed methods evaluation research design to understand the effect of a before school physical activity program on student academic, behavioral and social outcomes.

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content because I conducted the research study.
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.