Evidence for the Efficacy of the Youth-Physical Activity towards Health (Y-PATH) Intervention


The physical education environment is a key opportunity to intervene because of access to children and adolescents for the purpose of increasing physical activity participation and improving fundamental movement skill proficiency. A non-randomised controlled trial involving two schools in a rural Irish town was carried out in September 2011 to evaluate the Youth-Physical Activity Towards Health (Y-PATH) intervention. Data were collected on 12 to 14 year olds (n = 174) at 3 time points (pre, post and retention). Data collected included measured height and weight, physical activity measured by accelerometry and by self-report and fundamental movement skill performance. Both the control and intervention school showed significant increases in daily physical activity and gross motor skill proficiency over time. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA showed a significant interaction effect between school attended and time for physical activity (F (2, 38) = 6.177, p = .005) and fundamental movement skills (F (2, 100) = 4.132, p = .019), with a significantly greater increase in physical activity and fundamental movement skills observed in the intervention school. Preliminary findings from this study suggest a positive effect for the Y-PATH intervention and provide support for its potential in increasing physical activity and fundamental movement skill levels of adolescent youth. Further research involving a definitive randomised controlled trial with a larger sample size is warranted.

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O’ Brien, W. , Issartel, J. & Belton, S. (2013). Evidence for the Efficacy of the Youth-Physical Activity towards Health (Y-PATH) Intervention. Advances in Physical Education, 3, 145-153. doi: 10.4236/ape.2013.34024.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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