Date of Award

12-3-2007

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Diane Allensworth, PhD

Second Advisor

Marshall Kreuter, PhD

Third Advisor

Derek G. Shendell, DEnv,MPH

Abstract

Abstract Dawn Arlotta (The Effects of HealthMPowers on the Levels of Physical Activity among Students in 13 Georgia Public Schools) (Under the direction of Dr. Marshall Kreuter and Dr. Derek Shendell) Objectives. This study evaluated a school based health and physical education program conducted in nine elementary and four middle schools in seven Metro-Atlanta school districts in Georgia. HealthMPowers served 5,644 students last year and approximately 15,000 students over the 3 year intervention. Methods. Quantitative programmatic data were collected by HealthMPowers before the intervention started (pre, 2004) and again three years later (post, 2007). HealthMPowers worked with these schools for the entire three year period and collected post Program Design and post-intervention fitness data in spring 2007. Results. The nine participating elementary schools each demonstrated an increase in student fitness levels for the fourth and fifth grades. The four middle schools demonstrated an increase in student fitness levels in at least one grade, which varied by school. Conclusion. Our findings suggested school programs can be effective in increasing physical activity and fitness scores and supports broader implementation of known successful programs. INDEX WORDS: Physical Activity, Youth, School Health Index, Coordinated School Health Program, Obesity, FITNESSGRAM, Physical Fitness Testing, Physical Education.

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