Preventing Chronic Disease
Introduction: Empirical examinations of the efficacy of community-based programs to increase and sustain physical activity among youth are lacking. This study describes changes in vigorous physical activity during a 3-year period among children aged 9 to 13 years (tweens) in Lexington, Kentucky, following introduction of the VERB Summer Scorecard (VSS) intervention.
Methods: A community coalition, guided by a marketing plan that addressed motivators for tweens to participate in physical activity, designed and implemented VSS. Youth used a scorecard to monitor their physical activity, which was verified by adults. There were 3,428 students surveyed in 2004; 1,976 in 2006; and 2,051 in 2007 (mean age for 2004, 2006, and 2007, 12 y). For each year, we performed Χ2 tests and computed summary statistics for age, sex, and grade. Chi-square tests and cumulative logit models were used to analyze physical activity trends among VSS participants, VSS nonparticipants, and a reference group.
Results: The proportion of youth who reported frequent vigorous physical activity increased from 32% in 2004 to 42% in 2007. The proportion of VSS participants with moderate or high levels of vigorous physical activity increased by approximately 17 percentage points, more than twice the proportion of nonparticipants.
Conclusion: Interventions such as VSS may empower communities to take action to encourage greater physical activity among youth.
Alfonso, Moya L., Robert J. McDermott, Zachary Thompson, Carol A. Bryant, Anita H. Courtney, Jeffery A. Jones, Jenna L. Davis, Yiliang Zhu.
"Vigorous Physical Activity Among Tweens, VERB Summer Scorecard Program, Lexington, Kentucky, 2004-2007."
Preventing Chronic Disease, 8 (5): A104.