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BackgroundExtracurricular programmes could provide a mechanism to increase the physical activity (PA) of primary-school-aged children. The aim of this feasibility study was to examine whether the Action 3:30 intervention, which is delivered by teaching assistants, holds promise as a means of increasing the PA of Year 5 and 6 children.MethodsA cluster randomised feasibility trial was conducted in 20 primary schools. Ten schools received the Action 3:30 intervention and 10 schools were allocated to the control arm. The intervention was 40 one-hour sessions, delivered twice a week by teaching assistants. The proportion of participants recruited per school was calculated. Session delivery and session attendance was calculated for intervention schools. Weekday and after-school (3.30 to 8.30 pm) moderate to vigorous intensity physical (MVPA) was assessed by accelerometer at baseline (T0), during the last few weeks of the intervention (T1) and four months after the intervention had ended (T2). The costs of delivering the intervention were estimated.ResultsFive intervention schools ran all 40 of the intended sessions. Of the remaining five, three ran 39, one ran 38 and one ran 29 sessions. Mean attendance was 53%. The adjusted difference in weekday MVPA at T1 was 4.3 minutes (95% CI ¿2.6 to 11.3). Sex-stratified analyses indicated that boys obtained 8.6 more minutes of weekday MVPA than the control group (95% CI 2.8 to 14.5) at T1 with no effect for girls (0.15 minutes, 95% CI ¿9.7 to 10.0). There was no evidence that participation in the programme increased MVPA once the club sessions ceased (T2). The indicative average cost of this intervention was £2,425 per school or £81 per participating child during its first year and £1,461 per school or £49 per participating child thereafter.ConclusionsThe effect of the Action 3:30 intervention was comparable to previous physical activity interventions but further analysis indicated that there was a marked sex difference with a positive impact on boys and no evidence of an effect on girls. The Action 3:30 intervention holds considerable promise but more work is needed to enhance the effectiveness of the intervention, particularly for girls.Trial registration ISRCTN58502739.
|Journal||International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Sep 2014|