UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Framework for the design and delivery of organized physical activity sessions for children and adolescents: rationale and description of the ‘SAAFE’ teaching principles Lubans, David R; Lonsdale, Chris; Cohen, Kristen; Eather, Narelle; Beauchamp, Mark R; Morgan, Philip J; Sylvester, Benjamin D; Smith, Jordan J


The economic burden of inactivity is substantial, with conservative estimates suggesting the global cost to health care systems is more than US$50 billion. School-based programs, including physical education and school sport, have been recommended as important components of a multi-sector, multi-system approach to address physical inactivity. Additionally, community sporting clubs and after-school programs (ASPs) offer further opportunities for young people to be physically active outside of school. Despite demonstrating promise, current evidence suggests school-based physical activity programs, community sporting clubs and ASPs are not achieving their full potential. For example, physical activity levels in physical education (PE) and ASP sessions are typically much lower than recommended. For these sessions to have the strongest effects on young people’s physical activity levels and their on-going physical literacy, they need to improve in quality and should be highly active and engaging. This paper presents the Supportive, Active, Autonomous, Fair, Enjoyable (SAAFE) principles, which represent an evidence-based framework designed to guide the planning, delivery and evaluation of organized physical activity sessions in school, community sport and ASPs. In this paper we provide a narrative and integrative review of the conceptual and empirical bases that underpin this framework and highlight implications for knowledge translation and application.

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