KidsOut! — promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior among 8th graders

Background

Adolescents’ physical activity (PA) is decreasing and sedentary behavior (SB) increasing alarmingly. Insufficient PA and excessive SB are both related to various health risks indicating that interventions to promote adolescents’ PA and to reduce their SB are needed. Schools have great potential to reach most adolescents, and in Finland, health education (HE) as stand-alone subject provides an excellent platform for health promotion.

Aim

To promote physical activity and reduce sedentary time among 8th graders in Tampere, Finland. The KidsOut! -study was conducted in 2011-13 and included three parts: an Internet survey (2011), a measurement study (2011) and a randomized, controlled trial (2012-14).

Part 1: Internet survey

 

The purpose of the survey was to examine 8th graders’ active commuting to school (AC) and leisure PA in the city of Tampere, Finland. Also associations with psychosocial and environmental factors were examined. In addition, the adolescents were asked about their possibilities and barriers to increase AC and leisure PA, the amount of their outdoor activities, use of PA facilities, participation in organized sports, perceived physical fitness, amount of screen time and sleep. The electronic survey was addressed to all 8th graders (n1600) in the 16 secondary schools of Tampere. The students completed the survey in the Internet during one regular school lesson.

The survey was responded by 1464 students (88%). AC varied according to distance to school. Of those having distance of 3 kilometers or less only 60 % walked or cycled to school daily. Unwillingness to use the bicycle helmet, fluent bus connections and concern about the bicycle vandalism were the most common barriers to AC in short distances. One quarter of the students met the physical activity recommendations, boys more often than girls. Leisure PA was most commonly restricted by other doings and hobbies. Walking and cycling trails and parks were the most frequent places for leisure PA. Approximately 40 % of the adolescents exceeded the screen time recommendation of 2 hours daily.

Original publication (In Finnish):
Olavi Paronen, Minna Aittasalo, Anne-Mari Jussila. KASIT LIIKKEELLE! Koulumatka- ja liikuntakysely Tampereella syksyllä 2011. Tampereen kaupunki, 2012.

Part 2: Measurement study

The purpose of the measurement study was to examine the validity and repeatability of measures developed for the third part of the study (randomized, controlled trial). The measurement study included two sub-studies:

The first sub-study examined the validity of new Hookie accelerometer in relation to the commonly used Actigraph accelerometer. This sub-study involved 20 participants aged 13–15 years, who completed a sequence of ten 2-minute activities while wearing both accelerometers. Both monitors proved comparable in assessing adolescents’ accelerations in typical free-living activities and in classifying the activities by intensity levels.

Original publication:

Aittasalo M, Vähä-Ypyä H, Vasankari T, Husu P, Jussila A-M, Sievänen H. Mean amplitude deviation calculated from raw acceleration data: a novel method for classifying the intensity of adolescents´ physical activity irrespective of accelerometer brand. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation 2015;7:18. DOI 10.1186/s13102-015-0010-0.

The second sub-study was conducted in fall 2011 and involved approximately one hundred 8th graders from three different schools. This sub-study investigated the validity and repeatability of youth physical activity diary in relation to Hookie accelerometer.

Original publication:
Not yet reported.

Part 3: Randomized, controlled trial

The purpose of the trial was to RE-AIM-evaluate (www.re-aim.org) an intervention developed for three HE lessons to increase PA and reduce SB among 8th graders.

All city-owned secondary schools in Tampere (n = 14) were invited to the trial and were randomized in pairs to the intervention (n=7) and comparison group (n=7). A specific content on PA and SB based on Health Action Process Approach model was integrated into routinely scheduled three HE lessons with the help of educational material: SoftGIS-questionnaire followed by feedback views on adolescents’ current PA and SB, FeetEnergy-homework leaflet for
adolescents, FeetEnergy-video in YouTube, FeetEnergy-poster for classroom and FeetEnergy-leaflet for parents. In the comparison group standard HE lessons were held. The primary indicators of Effectiveness were changes in PA and SB. The secondary indicators were psychosocial factors of PA and SB and parental interference with PA and SB. The measurement points were baseline, 4 weeks after the intervention and 7 months from baseline, the last indicating also the measurement point for individual level Maintenance. The measures were accelerometers, 7-day activity diaries and questionnaires. The evaluation of Reach, Adoption and Implementation was based on the data collected during the intervention. Maintenance at organizational level was assessed two years after the intervention with a questionnaire to the HE teachers. The intervention was implemented in 2012 and the last measurements to assess organizational Maintenance were conducted in the end of 2014.

Original publication on study design:
Jussila AMa, Vasankari T, Paronen O, Sievänen H, Tokola K, Vähä-Ypyä H, Broberg A, Aittasalo M. KIDS OUT! Protocol of a brief school-based intervention to promote physical activity and to reduce screen time in a sub-cohort of Finnish eighth graders. BMC Public Health 2015;15:634.

Original publication on evaluation:
Estimated to be available in the end of 2018.

Partners

KidsOut! -study was a part of a larger project, which examined the physical activity of children and adolescents in urban environment (Kids Out!). The collaborators of the project with the UKK Institute were Tampere University of Technology (School of Architecture) and Helsinki University of Technology (Centre for Urban and Regional Studies). The project was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture as part of a research program on the health and welfare of children and young people (SKIDI-KIDS).

Contact

Minna Aittasalo, Senior Researcher 

minna.aittasalo(at)uta.fi

 

Publications

For publications (international and Finnish) of this research see the Finnish description.
To find the list of publications (Julkaisuja), scroll the page down.

Updated May 2018

 
Last Modified: 31.05.2018

Contact Us

Tel. +358 3 282 9111

 

Personnel

Feedback

 

Office Hours

8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on weekdays

 

Visiting Address

Kaupinpuistonkatu 1

 

33500 Tampere

 

Finland

 

 

 

See the map

© UKK Institute. All rights reserved.