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Special Issue "Physical Activity Interventions in the School Setting"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 March 2023 | Viewed by 3029

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Collin A. Webster
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham Dubai, Dubai 341799, UAE
Interests: youth physical activity promotion; comprehensive school physical activity programs; physical education teacher education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical inactivity represents a paramount public health concern globally, and COVID-19 has exacerbated the challenges involved with physical activity promotion. There is international consensus that the school environment offers a natural venue for early intervention to increase the physical activity behavior of children and adolescents and, optimally, promote positive trajectories of health across the lifespan. Nevertheless, despite mounting efforts to generate desired changes in school practices and youth physical activity during both regular (in-person) and alternative (virtual, hybrid) programming, sustainable shifts in dominant education paradigms (i.e., the way schools operate) and widescale impact on the physical inactivity pandemic remain elusive.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to consolidate cutting-edge scholarship addressing the topic of physical activity interventions in the school setting. Papers introducing innovative approaches to such interventions, with careful attention to overcoming known barriers to effective implementation and continuation of physical activity promotion through schools, are of particular interest. A broad range of article types will be considered, including conceptual/theoretical models, reviews (e.g., narrative, systematic, scoping), meta-analyses, descriptive/correlational analyses, experimental designs, qualitative methods, mixed-methods, and instrument development. Attention to diversity and issues of equity is encouraged. Submissions with strong scientific foundations (e.g., theoretical, methodological) and explicit translation of research to practice will be given priority.


Prof. Dr. Collin A. Webster
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • school-based physical activity
  • youth physical activity promotion
  • intervention
  • trial
  • experiment
  • program
  • youth
  • children
  • adolescents

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Association of Physical Educators’ Socialization Experiences and Confidence with Respect to Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program Implementation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12005; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912005 - 22 Sep 2022
Viewed by 244
Abstract
Comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAPs) are recommended to support physical education (PE) and increase the amount of physical activity (PA) youth receive each day. However, adoption of CSPAPs in the United States is low. PE teachers are well positioned to lead the [...] Read more.
Comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAPs) are recommended to support physical education (PE) and increase the amount of physical activity (PA) youth receive each day. However, adoption of CSPAPs in the United States is low. PE teachers are well positioned to lead the implementation of CSPAPs, but research is needed to better understand (a) PE teachers’ confidence to assume the multiple roles involved with CSPAP implementation and (b) the factors that are associated with such confidence. This study examined PE teachers’ role breadth self-efficacy (RBSE) as a measure of PE teachers’ CSPAP-related confidence and its association with seminal life experiences as framed within teacher socialization theory. A survey was emailed to a stratified-random sample of 2976 PE teachers and distributed on social media, garnering a total of 259 responses. Exploratory structural equation modeling supported a three-factor solution for teacher socialization variables (acculturation, professional socialization and organizational socialization), in line with the theoretical framework, and a single factor solution for RBSE. Professional socialization and organizational socialization were significant predictors of RBSE, and qualitative data from open-ended survey questions supported these relationships. The results highlight the importance of preservice teacher education and current employment contexts in PE teachers’ CSPAP-related confidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity Interventions in the School Setting)
Article
Impact of Virtual vs. In-Person School on Children Meeting the 24-h Movement Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811211 - 07 Sep 2022
Viewed by 439
Abstract
The pandemic mitigation strategy of closing schools, while necessary, may have unintentionally impacted children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sleep, and time spent watching screens. In some locations, schools used hybrid attendance models, with some days during the week requiring in-person and others virtual [...] Read more.
The pandemic mitigation strategy of closing schools, while necessary, may have unintentionally impacted children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sleep, and time spent watching screens. In some locations, schools used hybrid attendance models, with some days during the week requiring in-person and others virtual attendance. This scenario offers an opportunity to evaluate the impact of attending in-person school on meeting the 24-h movement guidelines. Children (N = 690, 50% girls, K–5th) wore wrist-placed accelerometers for 14 days during October/November 2020. Parents completed daily reports on child time spent on screens and time spent on screens for school. The schools’ schedule was learning for 2 days/week in-person and 3 days/week virtually. Using only weekdays (M–F), the 24-h movement behaviors were classified, and the probability of meeting all three was compared between in-person vs. virtual learning and across grades. Data for 4956 weekdays (avg. 7 d/child) were collected. In-person school was associated with a greater proportion (OR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.33–2.18) of days that children were meeting the 24-h movement guidelines compared to virtual school across all grades. Students were more likely to meet the screen time (OR = 9.14, 95% CI: 7.05–11.83) and MVPA (OR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.25–1.80) guidelines and less likely to meet the sleep (OR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.62–0.86) guidelines on the in-person compared to the virtual school days. Structured environments, such as school, have a protective effect on children’s movement behaviors, especially physical activity and screen time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity Interventions in the School Setting)
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Article
Adolescents’ Behaviors, Fitness, and Knowledge Related to Active Living before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Repeated Cross-Sectional Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052560 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 804
Abstract
Background: Nearly all schools in the United States experienced shutdown followed by phased reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby limiting students’ opportunities for physical activity (PA). This study aimed to examine adolescents’ PA at school (PAS) and PA out-of-school (PAO), screen-based sedentary behaviors [...] Read more.
Background: Nearly all schools in the United States experienced shutdown followed by phased reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby limiting students’ opportunities for physical activity (PA). This study aimed to examine adolescents’ PA at school (PAS) and PA out-of-school (PAO), screen-based sedentary behaviors (SbSB), health-related fitness, and knowledge understanding about PA and fitness before and during the pandemic. Methods: Three rounds of data were collected: Time 1 pre-pandemic (January 2020; n = 405), Time 2 schools partially reopened (February 2021; n = 412), and Time 3 schools fully reopened (March 2021; n = 450). Adolescents completed the Youth Activity Profile, the 20 m Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test and Plank test, and a written test, to measure the behaviors (T1, T2, T3), fitness (T2–T3), and knowledge (T1, T2, T3), respectively. Results: Inferential statistical analyses revealed a significant time effect for the behaviors and fitness. From T1 to T2 PAO decreased but PAS increased; whereas SbSB decreased at T3 compared to T1 and T2. Health-related fitness improved from T2 to T3. Further, the change patterns for SbSB varied by grade, and those for knowledge understanding varied by gender. Conclusion: The findings confirm the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents’ active living but varied by school grade and gender. The favorable changes from T2 to T3 observed for fitness and other constructs may be partially attributable to an interrupted fitness education intervention. The findings may guide the design and evaluation of future interventions addressing the physical inactivity pandemic during public health crises (e.g., COVID-19). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity Interventions in the School Setting)
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Article
Parents’ and Early Childhood Educators’ Perceptions on Movement and Learning Program Implementation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211913 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 887
Abstract
There is currently limited evidence on parents’ and early childhood educators’ perspectives on implementing programs that combine cognitive and motor tasks in early childhood. An online survey was distributed across Australia through social network platforms and emails at preschool centres, asking 65 parents [...] Read more.
There is currently limited evidence on parents’ and early childhood educators’ perspectives on implementing programs that combine cognitive and motor tasks in early childhood. An online survey was distributed across Australia through social network platforms and emails at preschool centres, asking 65 parents of preschool children and early childhood educators about their preferences on program delivery, duration, and mode. Responses from the survey were evaluated in order to develop and pilot a 4 week home-based (n = 5 parents) and a 6 week school-based program (n = 5 educators) including cognitively engaging physical activity, requesting parents’ and educators’ perspectives, respectively, about the program components. Results from the online survey showed a preference for programs with online (e.g., video-based) compared to traditional delivery (e.g., books), emphasising the potential benefits on children’s physical activity levels, sleep, and cognitive function. However, after piloting the program, educators preferred to use the book version instead of the video. This program has the potential to become part of daily regular practice. Barriers reported include logistics issues (i.e., book size), connectivity issues with internet, and the need for varying activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity Interventions in the School Setting)
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