Online Program

Opportunities for physical activity at elementary schools: Before, during and after school programs

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monica Lounsbery, PHD, Office of the Provost, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Thomas McKenzie, PHD, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY, San Diego, CA
Shannon Monnat, Ph.D., Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Background: Schools are salient locations for physical activity (PA), and Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP) are receiving attention, especially physical education (PE) and recess. Other Before, During, and After School (BDAS) programs have been identified as important, but few studies have examined their contribution to overall school PA or specific policies and practices related to them.

Methods: Key informants from 65 elementary schools in 27 districts in 9 US states completed 3 measures: S-PAPA (School Physical Activity Policy Assessment), PARC (Physical Activity Record for Classes), and SPAS (Structured Physical Activity Survey, which documents BDAS programs beyond PE and recess). Data were examined using descriptive statistics and correlation.

Results: Compared to PE and recess, few written district or school policies for BDAS programs existed. Few schools had policies encouraging active transport to school (7%) or for all personnel to receive professional development on PA (5%). More schools provided intramurals (39%) than interscholastics (25%) or school-wide PA breaks by classroom teachers (9%). Structured BDAS programs provided only 10.4 PA program minutes per week (SD=11.7), compared to 63 (SD=30.4) for PE and 146 (SD=49.0) for recess. Policies for PE time and fitness testing were associated with schools having a wellness policy and encouraging classroom teachers to promote PA (p<.02).

Conclusions:  Structured BDAS programs made only a small contribution (5%) to overall school PA opportunities, however, few policies were in place requiring them. Additional studies are needed to understand how BDAS program policies are developed and contribute to overall school PA.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the contributions of structured physical activity (PA) programs (beyond PE and recess) to overall school PA. Compare three instruments for assessing school PA policies and practices. Identify potential interactions among policies and practices within CSPAP components.

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-investigator on several studies examining school physical activity policies, youth physical activity, and health outcomes. I have multiple publications in the area of school physical activity programs and policies.
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.