Study Protocol for Testing the Association Between Physical Activity and Academic Outcomes Utilizing a Cluster-Randomized Trial
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adolescents engaging in 60 min of physical activity (PA) every day. Students should spend at least 30 min being active while at school. However, schools rarely provide that much PA time for students. This paper describes the planned analyses for a study evaluating the relationships between PA (measured as average daily minutes of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity [MVPA]) and educational outcomes of standardized test scores and classroom grades cross-sectionally in 4 th grade and longitudinally from 4 th to 5 th grade. Investigations of moderators (both student- and school-level), mediators, and potential dosage of average MVPA thresholds are outlined. To ensure a high level of variability in student PA, the Health Empowers You! program is implemented in a random sample of half of the participating schools. The intervention is designed to affect students’ PA behaviors and health outcomes (cardiorespiratory fitness, body mass index). Utilizing accelerometer data from students in participating schools, the relationship between PA and health and academic outcomes (academic achievement test scores, reading lexile, grades, attendance, and tardiness) is evaluated. A total of 4968 grade 4 students across 40 schools (20 receiving intervention) participated (75% participation rate), and this cohort is being tracked from grade 4 through grade 5. In addition, implementation process and fidelity data are gathered. Given that school closures in response to COVID-19 pre-maturely terminated Spring 5 th grade data collection, modifications to the original analysis plan are discussed throughout.
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Boedeker, Peter; Turner, Lindsey; Calvert, Hannah; Kay, Christi; Meyer, Adria; Truett, Chuck; and Gazmararian, Julie. (2021). "Study Protocol for Testing the Association Between Physical Activity and Academic Outcomes Utilizing a Cluster-Randomized Trial". Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 21, 100747. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2021.100747
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