Effects of School-based Intervention Programs in Promoting Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity during Leisure-time

Project Number
OER 24/15 MK

Project Duration
January 2016 - February 2019


Health organisations and governments worldwide have recognised adoption of physical activity as an important strategy that improves health and helps young people and adults cope with stress induced by uncertain economic environments of the future (e.g., Economic Review Committee, 2006; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996). Schools can play an important role in promoting lifelong participation in physical activities because they provide an existing network where interventions to produce sustainable changes in health behaviour can be implemented (Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2005; Standage, Gillison, Ntoumanis, & Treasure, 2013). However, teachers and health professionals have found that motivation of health behaviours is a notoriously difficult process (Haynes, McKibbon, & Kanani, 1996). One possible reason for this is that physical activity interventions are not directly related to theories of social behavior (Hardeman et al., 2002). Hence, development and evaluation of school-based interventions that are founded on rigorous psychological theories is considered important toward promoting lifelong participation in physical activities among young individuals. Our previous research (Chatzisarantis, Kamarova, Kawabata, Wang, & Hagger, in press) actually has shown that participation in physical activities can be promoted by implementing and evaluating school-based interventions that are informed by rigorous theories of human motivation, such as the theory of planned behaviour. Therefore, by extending the previous study, the present project aims to examine whether overweight pupils who are exposed to brief persuasive messages that emphasise salient benefits and salient barriers related to physical activity exhibit more regular participation in physical activities than overweight pupils who are not exposed to any persuasive messages. Furthermore, this project will examine whether this programme is cost-effective and whether it reduces BMI. The intervention will be school-based and targets young people aged 14 to 16 years. A randomised control trial with “school” as the unit of randomisation will be adopted. The present project will make a significant contribution to health-services delivery and health care because it informs practitioners and provides guidelines to policymakers and local schools about how to maximise effectiveness of health messages in promoting sustained participation in physical activities.

Funding Source

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