HOST Authors Assess Uptake of Physical Activity Standards

February 17, 2015

Several HOST authors have assessed schools' uptake of the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) standards on physical activity.

HOST authors Jean L. Wiecha, Georgia Hall, and Michelle Barnes, in Preventative Medicine (December 2014), describe their study of schools' awareness and implementation of the five physical activity standards that the NAA adopted in 2011. Using results from an online questionnaire of afterschool site directors, the authors calculated implementation scores for each standard by summing points for their component best practices, and examined associations among site characteristics, implementation scores, and awareness and use of the standards.

Among 595 respondents, 60% were aware of the standards and 43% used them for program planning. Awareness and use were significantly higher among NAA members and among sites that were accredited, licensed, or operated by a parent organization. Physical activity content and quality scores were higher among those aware of and using the standards and correlated with scores for staff training and for program, social, and environmental support.

They concluded that there was a high recognition and use of the standards in a national convenience sample of afterschool programs. Their uptake and use are promising lever for increasing the quality of physical activity in the afterschool setting.

Read the full study.

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