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Am J Public Health. 2005 Sep;95(9):1582-7.

Promotion of physical activity among high-school girls: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 730 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.



Many adolescent girls fail to meet national guidelines for physical activity, and the prevalence of obesity is increasing among this group. Our study examined the effects of a comprehensive school-based intervention on physical activity among high-school girls.


A group-randomized controlled field trial was conducted at 24 high schools. A school-based sample of 2744 girls (48.7% African American, 46.7% White) participated in a measurement protocol when they were in eighth and then ninth grade. A comprehensive physical activity intervention was designed to change the instructional program and the school environment to increase support for physical activity among girls.


At follow-up, 45% of girls in the intervention schools and 36% of girls in the control schools reported vigorous physical activity during an average of 1 or more 30-minute time blocks per day over a 3-day period.


A comprehensive school-based intervention can increase regular participation in vigorous physical activity among high-school girls.

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