Integrated Health and Physical Education Program to Reduce Media Use and Increase Physical Activity in Youth

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The purpose of this project was to compare an integrated health and physical education curriculum, focused on reducing media use and on increasing physical activity in middle school adolescents, to traditional and nonintegrated health and physical education curricula. Two middle schools' health and physical education classes were assigned to an intervention or traditional curriculum group. No differences were found in the average change in media use between the intervention and the traditional groups (-8.5 hrs/wk vs. -5.5 hrs/wk, p = 0.112), while there was a greater increase in average step counts in the intervention group than in the traditional group (+1732 steps/day vs. -571 steps/day, p = 0.03). The results of the study suggest that a media literacy approach to health education combined with a student-centered approach to physical education may increase physical activity in middle school adolescents.

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