Activating schoolyards: study design of a quasi-experimental schoolyard intervention study
Web of Science
AuthorAndersen, HB; Pawlowski, CS; Scheller, HB; Troelsen, J; Toftager, M; Schipperijn, J
Source TitleBMC Public Health
University of Melbourne Author/sTroelsen, Jens
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsAndersen, H. B., Pawlowski, C. S., Scheller, H. B., Troelsen, J., Toftager, M. & Schipperijn, J. (2015). Activating schoolyards: study design of a quasi-experimental schoolyard intervention study. BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, 15 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-1828-9.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: The aim of the Activating Schoolyards Study is to develop, implement, document and assess a comprehensive schoolyard intervention to promote physical activity (PA) during school recess for primary school children (grade 4-8). The intervention is designed to implement organizational and structural changes in the physical environment. METHOD: The study builds on a quasi-experimental study design using a mixed method approach including: 1) an exploratory study aimed at providing input for the developing process; 2) an evaluation of the effect of the interventions using a combination of accelerometer, GPS and GIS; 3) a process evaluation facilitating the intervention development process and identifying barriers and facilitators in the implementation process; 4) a post-intervention end-user evaluation aimed at exploring who uses the schoolyards and how the schoolyards are used. The seven project schools (cases) were selected by means of an open competition and the interventions were developed using a participatory bottom-up approach. DISCUSSION: The participatory approach and case selection strategy make the study design novel. The use of a mixed methods design including qualitative as well as quantitative methods can be seen as a strength, as the different types of data complement each other and results of one part of the study informed the following parts. A unique aspect of our study is the use of accelerometers in combination with GPS and GIS in the effect evaluation to objectively determine where and how active the students are in the schoolyard, before and after the intervention. This provides a type of data that, to our knowledge, has not been used before in schoolyard interventions. Exploring the change in behavior in relation to specific intervention elements in the schoolyard will lead to recommendations for schools undergoing schoolyard renovations at some point in the future.
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