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EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Pragmatic evaluation of the Go2Play Active Play intervention on physical activity and fundamental movement skills in children

Johnstone, Avril and Hughes, Adrienne R. and Janssen, Xanne and Reilly, John J. (2017) Pragmatic evaluation of the Go2Play Active Play intervention on physical activity and fundamental movement skills in children. Preventive Medicine Reports, 7. pp. 58-63. ISSN 2211-3355

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Abstract

Active play is a novel approach to addressing low physical activity levels and fundamental movement skills (FMS) in children. This study aimed to determine if a new school-based, ‘Go2Play Active Play’ intervention improved school day physical activity and FMS. This was a pragmatic evaluation conducted in Scotland during 2015–16. Participants (n = 172; mean age = 7 years) were recruited from seven primary schools taking part in the 5-month intervention, plus 24 participants not receiving the intervention were recruited to act as a comparison group.189 participants had physical activity measured using an Actigraph GT3X accelerometer at baseline and again at follow-up 5 months later. A sub-sample of participants from the intervention (n = 102) and comparison (n = 21) groups had their FMS assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) at baseline and follow-up. Changes in school day physical activity and FMS variables were examined using repeated measures ANOVA. The main effect was ‘group’ on ‘time’ from baseline to follow-up. Results indicated there was a significant interaction for mean counts per minute and percent time in sedentary behavior, light intensity physical activity and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (all p < 0.01) for school day physical activity. There was a significant interaction for gross motor quotient (GMQ) score (p = 0.02) and percentile (p = 0.04), locomotor skills score and percentile (both p = 0.02), but no significant interaction for object control skills score (p = 0.1) and percentile (p = 0.3). The Go2Play Active Play intervention may be a promising way of improving physical activity and FMS but this needs to be confirmed in an RCT.