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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Dec;160(12):1255-61.

Effects of a life skills intervention for increasing physical activity in adolescent girls.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.



Although adolescence is a time when physical activity levels decline, few interventions have targeted high school-aged girls in the school setting.


To evaluate the effects of a life skills-oriented physical activity intervention for increasing overall physical activity in high school-aged girls.


Randomized controlled trial.


Baltimore magnet high school.


A total of 221 ninth-grade girls, 83.0% of whom were African American. Intervention Participants were randomized to an 8-month physical intervention conducted in physical education class or to a standard physical education class (control).


Self-reported estimated daily energy expenditure (physical activity), self-reported sedentary activities (television viewing and computer or Internet use), cardiorespiratory fitness, and selected cardiovascular disease risk factors.


Intervention classes spent 46.9% of physical education class time in moderate to vigorous activity compared with 30.5% of time for control classes (P<.001). There were no significant between-treatment group differences for mean daily energy expenditure (P = .93), moderate-intensity energy expenditure (P = .77), or hard to very hard energy expenditure (P = .69). The proportion of participants who spent 3 or more hours viewing television during school days declined from 22.3% to 17.0% in the intervention group, but remained at 26.7% for the control group (P = .03). Both groups improved their cardiorespiratory fitness (P<.001).


A life skills-oriented physical education curriculum may need to be combined with other approaches to increase the magnitude of effects on physical activity behavior in predominantly African American high school-aged girls.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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