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Diabetes Metab. 2006 Feb;32(1):41-9.

ICAPS: a multilevel program to improve physical activity in adolescents.

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EA1801 Epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, Influence of nutrition and physical inactivity, Université Louis Pasteur, Faculté de Médecine, 67085 Strasbourg Cedex, France.



ICAPS (Intervention Centred on Adolescents' Physical activity and Sedentary behaviour) is aimed at preventing excessive weight gain and cardiovascular risk in adolescents by promoting physical activity (PA) with an emphasis on recreational and daily-life PA, with a lifelong perspective.


Randomized study designed to last for four years. Study cohort constituted of 954 first-level students (91% of eligible pupils), aged 11.7 +/- 0.6 y (mean +/- SD) from four pairs of schools randomly selected in eastern France, after sociogeographical stratification. In each pair, intervention status was randomised at school-level. The program, not limited to school settings, involves multiple partners with three objectives: 1) changing attitudes through debates and access to attractive activities during breaks and after-school hours, 2) encouraging social support, 3) providing environmental conditions that enable PA. Adapted times and places, open participation, emphasis on fun, meeting with others and absence of competitive aspects are used to reduce usual barriers to PA. Accessibility and safety are permanent concerns.


Prevalence of overweight was 23.7%. High participation rates were attained (50% participated in at least one weekly activity). At six-month, the proportion of intervention adolescents not performing supervised PA out of academic PA was reduced by half (36% to 17% vs 42% to 42% in controls P < 10-4); the proportion of those spending > 3 h/day in sedentary occupations decreased (34% to 28% vs 27% to 36%; P < 10-4).


These data demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a multilevel PA intervention program in adolescents. Six-month results document increased PA and decreased sedentary behaviour.

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