University of Louisville

Poster Title

Preliminary Analysis of an After-school, Physical Activity Intervention for Children in a Rural Community

Institution

University of Louisville

Abstract

Kentucky has the highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation. In communities where rural residents have limited (if any) access to physical activity opportunities, the prevalence of obesity is higher. If unaddressed, previous research has show that these obesity rates due to sedentary lifestyles can contribute to higher levels of heart disease, type II diabetes, and cancer. In efforts to address this problem, five primary schools in Meade County, Kentucky participated in a pilot intervention, Coordinated Approach To Children’s Health (CATCH) Kids Club, with the goal of improving children’s health knowledge, skills, and behaviors. Children (n = 68) engaged in physically active games and learned about healthy snacks twice a week after school for 90 minutes per session with their peers and a CATCH Coach. Children’s physical activity (amount of time spent being physically active), screen time (amount of time spent at a computer or television screen), physical activity self-efficacy (perception of one’s ability to be physically active) were measured via surveys and aerobic capacity was measured via Progressive Aerobic Cardiorespiratory Endurance Run (PACER) test at baseline and post-intervention. Children increased their aerobic capacity levels from an average of 12.9 laps to 17.3, t(40) = -3.079, p < .01; increased their daily physical activity levels from 0-29 minutes to 60-89 minutes t(42) = - 6.016, p < .01. Results showed that the program was effective in creating lifestyle changes in children. Meade County has begun full implementation after-school and weekend programs for children and on-going research is underway.

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Preliminary Analysis of an After-school, Physical Activity Intervention for Children in a Rural Community

Kentucky has the highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation. In communities where rural residents have limited (if any) access to physical activity opportunities, the prevalence of obesity is higher. If unaddressed, previous research has show that these obesity rates due to sedentary lifestyles can contribute to higher levels of heart disease, type II diabetes, and cancer. In efforts to address this problem, five primary schools in Meade County, Kentucky participated in a pilot intervention, Coordinated Approach To Children’s Health (CATCH) Kids Club, with the goal of improving children’s health knowledge, skills, and behaviors. Children (n = 68) engaged in physically active games and learned about healthy snacks twice a week after school for 90 minutes per session with their peers and a CATCH Coach. Children’s physical activity (amount of time spent being physically active), screen time (amount of time spent at a computer or television screen), physical activity self-efficacy (perception of one’s ability to be physically active) were measured via surveys and aerobic capacity was measured via Progressive Aerobic Cardiorespiratory Endurance Run (PACER) test at baseline and post-intervention. Children increased their aerobic capacity levels from an average of 12.9 laps to 17.3, t(40) = -3.079, p < .01; increased their daily physical activity levels from 0-29 minutes to 60-89 minutes t(42) = - 6.016, p < .01. Results showed that the program was effective in creating lifestyle changes in children. Meade County has begun full implementation after-school and weekend programs for children and on-going research is underway.