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Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programming and Activity Enjoyment

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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) on physical activity enjoyment in children from low-income schools. Methods: Participants were 758 children recruited from the 3rd-6th grade (mean age = 10.1 ± 0.5 years; 376 girls and 382 boys) from 3 schools receiving governmental financial assistance in the US. CSPAP was implemented over one semester during the 2014-2015 school year. We assessed physical activity enjoyment at baseline and at a 12-week follow-up using the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale. We used a mixed-design 4 × 2 × 2 analysis of covariance test with repeated measures to examine the effect of grade, sex, and time (baseline, follow-up) on enjoyment scores, adjusting for the clustering of students within classrooms and schools. Results: There were greater enjoyment scores at follow-up compared to baseline (Mean Difference = 7%, p < .001); however, the increase only represented a small sized effect (d = 0.26). Post hoc tests revealed that greater improvements in enjoyment were seen in older children compared to third graders (p < .001). Conclusions: The CSPAP marginally improved enjoyment levels in children from low-income schools and we found greater improvements in older children.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Kinesiology and Sport Sciences Department, University of Nebraska Kearney, Kearney, NE, USA 2: Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. [email protected] 3: Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA 4: College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2016

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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