A cluster randomised trial of a school-based intervention to prevent decline in adolescent physical activity levels: study protocol for the 'Physical Activity 4 Everyone' trial
Background: Adolescence is an established period of physical activity decline. Multi-component school-based interventions have the potential to slow the decline in adolescents' physical activity; however, few interventions have been conducted in schools located in low-income or disadvantaged communities. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a multi-component school-based intervention in reducing the decline in physical activity among students attending secondary schools located in disadvantaged communities. Methods/Design: The cluster randomised trial will be conducted with 10 secondary schools located in selected regions of New South Wales, Australia. The schools will be selected from areas that have a level of socio-economic status that is below the state average. Five schools will be allocated to receive an intervention based on the Health Promoting Schools framework, and will be supported by a part-time physical activity consultant placed in intervention schools who will implement a range of intervention adoption strategies. Study measures will be taken at baseline when students are in Year 7 (12 - 13 years) and again after 12- and 24-months. The primary outcome, minutes of moderate- to-vigorous- intensity physical activity per day and percentage of time in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), will be objectively assessed using accelerometers (Actigraph GT3x+). Group allocation and intervention delivery will commence after baseline data collection. The intervention will continue during school terms through to 24-month follow-up. Discussion: The study will provide evidence regarding the effectiveness of a multi-component school-based intervention that includes an in-school physical activity consultant targeting the physical activity levels of adolescents in disadvantaged Australian secondary schools.
Sutherland, R., Campbell, E., Lubans, D. R., Morgan, P. J., Okely, A. D., Nathan, N., Wolfenden, L., Jones, J., Davies, L., Gillham, K. & Wiggers, J. (2013). A cluster randomised trial of a school-based intervention to prevent decline in adolescent physical activity levels: study protocol for the 'Physical Activity 4 Everyone' trial. Bmc Public Health, 13 (57), 1-10.