What is it about?

‘Physical Activity 4 Everyone’ (PA4E1) is a secondary school physical activity program originally delivered from 2012-2014 in NSW, Australia. When originally delivered, it was cost-effective at increasing student physical activity and reducing unhealthy weight gain. Because the original program was effective, it was ‘scaled-up’ for delivery in more schools. It is now being delivered in more than 20 schools across NSW, Australia. This new paper discusses the first year’s results, which show promise! ***What is the program about?*** PA4E1 consists of seven components (practices), including recess and lunchtime activities, school policy, quality physical education lessons, and more. Schools were provided support from their local health district to deliver PA4E1 in their schools. If schools implement the program, the previous study showed that this could increase physical activity and reduce weight gain for students. So this study explored if schools could deliver the scaled-up program in their schools. Schools receiving the program were from disadvantaged areas, spread across both urban and rural settings (including government and catholic schools). The program was delivered as planned in most schools and therefore most schools implemented the program as intended (high fidelity). ***Results*** So far, the results show promise as the majority of schools (~70%) implemented the program as intended. Student physical activity data and outcomes after two years of the program to follow soon.

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Why is it important?

More than 80% of Australian teenagers are not physically active enough and many are overweight or obese. Schools are a platform to increase students’ physical activity, though many need support to make their environments and curriculums more suited to and supportive of physical activity. PA4E1 may provide a solution for NSW secondary schools to become more active. Similar programs are available in primary schools, but such a program is needed for secondary schools. While other programs around the world have struggled to get schools to implement their programs, so far, the results show promise for PA4E1! More coming soon!


More results to follow, including process evaluation, cost-effectiveness and 24-month results.

Dr Matthew Mclaughlin
Telethon Kids Institute

Well designed implementation strategies are critical when supporting schools to adopt new physical activity practices. This implementation model worked and was really well received by schools. As a result, more schools are implementing the school physical activity practices that we know work and more often. That’s what matters.

Dr Rachel Sutherland
University of Newcastle

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Scale-up of the Physical Activity 4 Everyone (PA4E1) intervention in secondary schools: 12-month implementation outcomes from a cluster randomized controlled trial, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, August 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/s12966-020-01000-y.
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