A brief staff training to increase children’s physical activity during an after-school program: Preliminary effectiveness and potential for dissemination
Black Girls Move


physical activity promotion, youth settings, after-school, training, MVPA


This two-part study aimed to first evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of a brief staff training intervention to promote physical activity among children attending an after-school program, and then to determine the feasibility of delivering the training to a larger number of sites. Two Boys and Girls Club after-school sites (intervention, control) participated in study 1. Accelerometer-measured physical activity of children and directly observed staff behaviors were assessed at each site in February and May 2019. Following baseline data collection, staff at the intervention site attended a brief physical activity promotion training, which emphasized expanding the quantity and enhancing the quality of physical activity opportunities. For study 2, the training was delivered to all staff, and they completed pre- and post-training measures of self-efficacy and intention to implement strategies to promote physical activity. In study 1, children at the intervention site decreased sedentary time by 14.8 min/day, and increased light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by 7.8 and 7.0 min/day, respectively, relative to the control site. Instances of staff encouragement significantly increased at the intervention site. In study 2, staff reported significant improvements in self-efficacy and intention immediately following the training. These studies provide preliminary evidence that a brief staff training intervention may increase physical activity among children attending an after-school program, and that the intervention can be integrated into existing training requirements. Future research is needed to replicate these findings across a wider range of after-school programs, and to explore systematic approaches to offering sustainable physical activity training regularly at scale.



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