Article Text

Download PDFPDF

‘Physical Activity 4 Everyone’ school-based intervention to prevent decline in adolescent physical activity levels: 12 month (mid-intervention) report on a cluster randomised trial
  1. Rachel Sutherland1,2,3,
  2. Elizabeth Campbell1,2,3,
  3. David R Lubans4,
  4. Philip J Morgan4,
  5. Anthony D Okely5,6,
  6. Nicole Nathan1,2,3,
  7. Luke Wolfenden1,2,3,
  8. Jarrod Wiese1,2,
  9. Karen Gillham1,3,
  10. Jenna Hollis7,
  11. John Wiggers1,2,3
  1. 1Hunter New England Population Health, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5Early Start Research Institute and School of Education, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  6. 6Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  7. 7Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
  1. Correspondence to Rachel Sutherland, Hunter New England Population Health, Locked Bag No. 10, Wallsend NSW 2287, Australia; Rachel.Sutherland{at}


Background Adolescence is a recognised period of physical activity decline, particularly among low-income communities. We report the 12-month (midpoint) effects of a 2-year multicomponent physical activity intervention implemented in disadvantaged secondary schools.

Methods A cluster randomised trial was undertaken in 10 secondary schools located in disadvantaged areas in New South Wales, Australia. Students in Grade 7 were recruited, with follow-up in Grade 8. The intervention was guided by socioecological theory and included seven physical activity strategies, and six implementation adoption strategies. The primary outcome was mean minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day assessed using Actigraph GT3X accelerometers. Outcome data were analysed using repeated measures linear mixed models.

Results At baseline, 1150 (93%) students participated in the data collection (mean age 12 years, 48% boys) and 1050 (79%) students participated at 12-month follow-up. By the 12-month follow-up, the six implementation adoption strategies had been used to support schools to deliver four of the seven physical activity elements. There was a significant group-by-time interaction for mean minutes of MVPA per day in favour of the intervention group (adjusted difference between groups at follow-up=3.85 min, 95% CI (0.79 to 6.91), p≤0.01), including significantly more vigorous physical activity (2.45 min, p≤0.01), equating to 27 min more MVPA per week.

Summary At 12-month follow-up, the intervention had reduced the decline in physical activity among adolescents from disadvantaged schools. The intervention may assist students to meet physical activity guidelines.

  • Physical activity
  • Adolescent
  • School
  • Research

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Warm up
    Stephen Aspinall