Validation of the isoactif program for promoting physical activity in schools

Por: Claude Savard e Gilles Lepine.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

Although a growing number of studies on exercise adherence have been conducted over the past several decades, much of the work has remained focused on personal and interpersonal interventions. It is clear that for the impact on the general population to be significant, organizational and environmental strategies will require far greater attention (King, 1994). The objective of the present study is to validate a program that uses organizational strategies for promoting physical activity in primary and secondary schools (Savard, 2002). This program, called ISOACTIF, aims mainly to improve the level of participation of students in physical activity and sport, but also to improve healthy behaviours among students with regard to nutrition and smoking.

Methods

In order to validate the ISOACTIF program in 2001-2002, a questionnaire was completed and returned by 35 primary schools (50% of responses) and 20 secondary schools (61% of responses) in Québec City, Canada.

Results

The results showed, on the one hand, that most of the criteria were considered relevant (average of 3.3 on a scale of 4) for promoting healthy behaviours. On the other hand, it was found that the channels used for communicating the results of the program were not sufficiently diversified. Even though school principals were aware of the results (average of 3.4 on a scale of 4), all teachers who had the potential to be leaders in supporting the ISOACTIF program were not well enough informed (average of 2.0 on a scale of 4). In addition, the results of the study showed that many opportunities to communicate the results to parents, to the educational system and to the community were missed.

Discussion conclusion

In summary, the study showed that the criteria for assessing ISOACTIF results were seen to be relevant and easy to measure. However, the program could be improved by diversifying the channels of communication for conveying results and by expanding the network of communication to reach beyond schools.

References

[1]. King, A. C. (1994) Clinical and Community Interventions to Promote and Support Physical Activity Participation. In Advances in Exercise Adherence (Rod.K. Dishman editor). Human Kinetics, Champaign, Ill. 406 p.
[2]. Savard, C. (2002) Analyse de validation du programme ISOACTIF 2001-2002. Research Report presented to ARSEQCA. Québec. 50 p.

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