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The 'Take PART' Study: Rationale and methodology

Nelson, Norah M. and Woods, C. and Foley, Eimear and O'Gorman, Donal J. and Moyna, Niall M. (2009) The 'Take PART' Study: Rationale and methodology. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6 (2). pp. 170-177. ISSN 1543-3080

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The Take PART study--Physical Activity Research for Teenagers--was undertaken to assess (1) physical activity and sedentary behaviors, (2) indices of health and fitness, and (3) to provide information, from a social ecological perspective, on the correlates of physical activity in a large sample of 15- to 17-year-old Irish adolescents. This manuscript outlines the rationale and methodology of the Take PART study. A sample of 4720 students (mean age=16.03 years+/-0.66, range 15 to 17 years; 49.5% female) participated. Fifty participants were assessed during each 3-hour school visit, with a ratio of 1 researcher to 10 students. Standardized testing procedures and extensive researcher training ensured that intertester and intratester reliability for all physical measures was >or=.85. The height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, blood pressure, and cardiorespiratory fitness protocols are explained. The questionnaire used well-known, valid, and reliable self-report measures. Where appropriate, additional psychometric testing was undertaken. Take PART is a school-based study. Its methods are simple, easy to replicate, financially viable, and scientifically valid. Its unique dataset will allow the evaluation of a social ecological approach as a viable option for improving understanding of youth inactivity. Ultimately, this knowledge will assist in successful intervention design.