Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour During After School Programs

E Jean Burrows, Angela M Kolen, Melanie R Keats



As Canadian children average only 14 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day, there is a pressing need to improve their participation in physical activities and to reduce their time spent in sedentary behaviours (SB). Although the after school period has garnered attention as a critical period for improving childrens PA and reducing time in SB , little is known about the effectiveness of current programming that aims to promote activity during this time.


Two after school programs (a low-organized games and a sport-based program) were examined to determine the time participants (n=39) spent in MVPA and SB while attending these physical activity programs.


Using accelerometry, it was found that children in both programs spent more than 50% of the scheduled time in MVPA; however, the sport-based program participants obtained significantly (p<0.05) more MVPA and significantly (p<0.05) less time in SB than the low-organized games based program participants.


Existent after school programs with a physical activity focus appear to be providing significant MVPA time for participants. However, there appears to be room for improvement in time spent in SB. To more effectively encourage higher levels of MVPA and reduce SB in the after school time period, further research is needed to better understand the effect of program type, as well as other contributing variables on MVPA and SB participation.


Children; Youth; Leisure Time; 3-6pm; Physical Activity; Sedentary Behviour

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ISSN: 19206216