n African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences (AJPHES) - The impact of a school-based and family physical activity intervention on learners' health behaviour

Volume 22 Number 2.1
  • ISSN : 2411-6939


Physical activity among children and adolescents is believed to be insufficient. Low levels of physical activity seems to persist from childhood into adulthood, thus the need for various interventions to increase physical activity levels in childhood is justified. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a school-based physical activity and family intervention on learners in a selected township. This study was a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent groups design with an intervention programme and assessment pre- and post-intervention. Two schools (one control and one experimental) in the Clermont Township, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa were purposively identified by the provincial Department of Health. Grade six learners (=129),their parents (=19), school principals (=2) and educators (=21) participated in this study. Learners completed a battery of fitness tests and completed a physical activity questionnaire. Principals and educators were interviewed. Additionally, parents participated in focus group sessions. Post-intervention results showed significant increases in the physical fitness of learners (p<0.05). Improved passion and knowledge from teachers to teach PE was reported. Furthermore, the improved knowledge of physical activity and healthy lifestyle practices by parents, in turn, encouraged learners to participate in physical activity during lessons and after school. Findings showed that the introduction of various methods of physical activity within the schools' existing curriculum, working with educators and parents could improve physical fitness and healthy eating habits in the learners without disrupting normal learning and teaching in the school.

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