The purpose of the present thesis was to evaluate the impact of the ‘Schools on the Move’ project, a pedometer-based intervention aimed at promoting physical activity in young people aged 9 to 13, by using qualitative and quantitative methods along dimensions of the RE-AIM evaluation framework. A second purpose was to identify which factors accounted for the success or failure of the intervention.A case study analysis involving six schools (3 primary and 3 secondary) was conducted in two stages: (1) within-case analysis and (2) cross-case analysis. In within-case analysis, each case was examined in-depth in order to identify what happened, built an explanation, and identify causal links about the case. In cross-case analysis, the factors that could possibly be associated with greater or lesser impact of the intervention were investigated. Specifically, implementation factors, adoption factors, and context (school and socio-regional) were examined to explain variation in project’s impact among schools.The findings indicated that the project had some positive effect in terms of increasing physical activity levels and awareness of health benefits of physical activity. Given the high dropout rates noted in all schools, these findings pertain only to the pupils who remained in the project. Differentiating schools with more or less impact, the results of cross-case analysis indicated that primary schools were more successful than secondary schools. Support provided to children during the implementation of the project appeared to explain variation between less or more successful schools. In primary schools, children were more intrinsically motivated, valued, and enjoyed the project more. In addition, primary school age children, while participating in the project, felt more competent, autonomous, and related to each other.In conclusion, the high dropout rates suggest that the pedometer-based intervention was not acceptable by the participants and that the sustainable use of pedometers was not feasible in the schools. It is hoped that this evaluation in ‘real-world’ settings will inform to better design and implement school-based physical activity interventions.
|Date of Award||31 Dec 2012|
|Supervisor||Sean Cumming (Supervisor)|