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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Implementation and effectiveness evaluation of a school-based daily physical activity policy in British Columbia elementary schools Weatherson, Katie Alayna


This thesis comprises three integrated studies exploring the implementation and effectiveness of a school-based Daily Physical Activity (DPA) policy in elementary schools. The purposes of the three manuscripts were to: (i) summarize the implementation and effectiveness literature on DPA policies across Canada, (ii) explore the factors that affect implementation of the DPA policy during instructional time by teachers in British Columbia (BC), and (iii) determine if BC students are accumulating more physical activity and less sedentary behaviour during the school day when they are given additional opportunities to be active during instructional time compared to only non-instructional opportunities. Study 1 was a scoping review that summarized the implementation and effectiveness research of DPA policies across Canada and examined the barriers and facilitators to DPA policy implementation using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). The findings revealed inconsistencies in DPA implementation and effectiveness and the majority of factors that affect implementation related to the Environmental context and resources, Beliefs about the consequences and Social influences. Study 2 used teacher interviews and the TDF to examine teachers’ barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the DPA policy in one BC school district. The first three domains of this study were comparable to the findings from Study 1. Study 3 used mixed methods to examine how teachers implement the DPA policy and compared the differences in children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour at school based on DPA implementation approach. Children who were given additional PA opportunities during instructional time were more active and less sedentary than children who were only given non-instructional time to be active; however, neither group met the DPA guidelines. Collectively, this research has provided evidence suggesting that current implementation approaches differ by teacher and create variations in children’s physical activity levels at school. Based on this research, evidence-based intervention strategies can be employed to modify barriers and enhance facilitators associated with DPA policy implementation and improve the effectiveness of this policy. Future interventions targeting the theoretically relevant barriers are suggested as possible next steps to enhance the implementation and effectiveness of the DPA policy in BC.

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