After-School Program Impact on Physical Activity and Fitness. A Meta-Analysis

Michael W. Beets, Aaron Beighle, Heather E. Erwin, Jennifer Huberty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context: The majority of children do not participate in sufficient amounts of daily, health-enhancing physical activity. One strategy to increase activity is to promote it within the after-school setting. Although promising, the effectiveness of this strategy is unclear. A systematic review was performed summarizing the research conducted to date regarding the effectiveness of after-school programs in increasing physical activity. Evidence acquisition: Databases, journals, and review articles were searched for articles published between 1980 and February 2008. Meta-analysis was conducted during July of 2008. Included articles had the following characteristics: findings specific to an after-school intervention in the school setting; subjects aged ≤18 years; an intervention component designed to promote physical activity; outcome measures of physical activity, related constructs, and/or physical fitness. Study outcomes were distilled into six domains: physical activity, physical fitness, body composition, blood lipids, psychosocial constructs, and sedentary activities. Effect sizes (Hedge's g) were calculated within and across studies for each domain, separately. Evidence synthesis: Of the 797 articles found, 13 unique articles describing findings from 11 after-school interventions were reviewed. Although physical activity was a primary component of all the tested interventions, only eight studies measured physical activity. From the six domains, positive effect sizes were demonstrated for physical activity (0.44 [95% CI=0.28-0.60]); physical fitness (0.16 [95% CI=0.01-0.30]); body composition (0.07 [95% CI=0.03-0.12]); and blood lipids (0.20 [95% CI=0.06-0.33]). Conclusions: The limited evidence suggests that after-school programs can improve physical activity levels and other health-related aspects. Additional studies are required that provide greater attention to theoretical rationale, levels of implementation, and measures of physical activity within and outside the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-537
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Physical Fitness
Meta-Analysis
Exercise
Body Composition
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Lipids
Health Status
Databases
Health
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology

Cite this

After-School Program Impact on Physical Activity and Fitness. A Meta-Analysis. / Beets, Michael W.; Beighle, Aaron; Erwin, Heather E.; Huberty, Jennifer.

In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 36, No. 6, 06.2009, p. 527-537.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Beets, Michael W. ; Beighle, Aaron ; Erwin, Heather E. ; Huberty, Jennifer. / After-School Program Impact on Physical Activity and Fitness. A Meta-Analysis. In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2009 ; Vol. 36, No. 6. pp. 527-537.
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