Evaluation of a school-based physical activity intervention in Alexandra Township

Draper, Catherine E. and de Kock, Lauren and Grimsrud, Anna T. and Rudolph, Michael and Nemutandani, Simon and Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5025-3204 and Lambert, Estelle V. (2010) Evaluation of a school-based physical activity intervention in Alexandra Township. South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 22 (1). pp. 12-19. ISSN 1015-5163


Objectives. Non-communicable diseases and limited participation in school physical education have become increasing concerns in South Africa. In response to these concerns, a school based physical activity intervention, Healthnutz, was implemented in three primary schools in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg. Evaluation of Healthnutz included assessing its feasibility and acceptability, knowledge and attitudes.

Methods. To assess feasibility and acceptability, a situational analysis and focus groups with teachers and programme monitors were conducted. Pre-post testing (3 month interval) was conducted with learners, and a questionnaire assessed changes in learners’ knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, and perceived barriers to physical activity, in control and intervention schools.

Results. At implementation, teachers identified the need for more physical activity in the school environment and were positive about Healthnutz. Follow-up focus group discussions suggested that it was positively impacting teachers, learners and the school in general. Scores for sit and reach (p<0.001), sit ups (p<0.02) and shuttle run (p<0.0001) improved significantly in intervention but not control schools. A significant decrease was observed in learners’ perceived external barriers to physical activity (p<0.0001) along with a positive change in learners’ self-efficacy for physical activity (p<0.05).

Conclusions. Healthnutz raised awareness of the importance of physical activity in intervention schools. Findings indicate that even limited exposure to a physical activity intervention can lead to a significant improvement in aspects of learners’ fitness, knowledge, attitudes and perceptions regarding physical activity. Furthermore, training and support of teachers needs to be non judgemental and empowering.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 35310
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: c. Health and Medical Publishing Group 2010.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2019 01:45
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2019 05:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: Healthnutz
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35310

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only