MCHbest. NPM 8: Physical Activity
Strategy. Extracurricular Activities for Physical Activity
Approach. Provide students with opportunities to participate in sports or other athletic activities before or after school.
Overview. Research indicates that an intervention where students are offered opportunities to participate in sports or athletic activities after school increases time in physical activity for children and adolescents. Activities include sports such as soccer, tennis, basketball, volleyball, etc. at the beginner, intermediate or competitive levels. Before or after-school activities can also include dance, fitness breaks, and physically active games. 1, 2
Evidence. Emerging. Initial research showed positive results for sports or other physically active extracurricular strategies to increase physical activity in children and adolescents. Further research is needed to identify critical components and confirm effects. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).
Target Audience. Schools: children and adolescents.
Outcome. Increase in overall physical activity in children and adolescents. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the “Intervention Results” for each study.
Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs that use this strategy directly or intervention components that aligns with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.
Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Provide students with opportunities to participate in sports or other athletic activities before or after school,” here are sample ESMs you can use to model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework (for suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies):
Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).
1 Carlin A, Murphy MH, Nevill A, Gallagher AM. Effects of a peer-led Walking In Schools intervention (the WISH study) on physical activity levels of adolescent girls: A cluster randomised pilot study. Trials. 2018 Jan 11;19(1):31.
2 Robbins LB, Wen F, Ling J. Mediators of physical activity behavior change in the "Girls on the Move" intervention. Nursing Research. 2019 Jul/Aug;68(4):257-266.