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Interventions to Promote Physical Activity in Young People Conducted in the Hours Immediately After School: A Systematic Review

Abstract

Background

After school is a critical period in the physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns of young people. Interventions to promote physical activity during these hours should be informed by existing evidence.

Purpose

The present study provides a systematic review of interventions to promote physical activity in young people conducted in the hours immediately after school.

Methods

The review was conducted in accordance with guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Studies were located through searches of electronic databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO and ERIC. For included studies, data were extracted and methodological quality assessed using standardised forms.

Results

Ten papers, reporting nine studies, met inclusion criteria. Three studies reported positive changes in physical activity and six indicated no change. Evidence suggests that single-behaviour interventions may be most effective during these hours.

Conclusion

Limitations in study design, lack of statistical power and problems with implementation have likely hindered the effectiveness of interventions in the after-school setting to date. Further work is required to develop interventions during this critical period of the day.

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Correspondence to Trish Gorely.

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Atkin, A.J., Gorely, T., Biddle, S.J.H. et al. Interventions to Promote Physical Activity in Young People Conducted in the Hours Immediately After School: A Systematic Review. Int.J. Behav. Med. 18, 176–187 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-010-9111-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-010-9111-z

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • Youth
  • Interventions
  • Review
  • After school