The Feasibility of a Novel School Peer-Led Mentoring Model to Improve the Physical Activity Levels and Sedentary Time of Adolescent Girls: The Girls Peer Activity (G-PACT) Project

Michael Owen, Charlotte Kerner, Sarah Taylor, Robert Noonan, Lisa Newson, Maria Christina Kosteli, Whitney Curry, Stuart Fairclough

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Abstract

Regular physical activity (PA) is associated with numerous physical and psychological health benefits. Adolescents, specifically girls, are at risk of physical inactivity. To date, there is limited research on PA interventions involving peers, which could encourage more adolescent girls to engage in PA. The investigation aimed to evaluate the feasibility of a novel school three-tier peer-led mentoring model designed to improve PA levels and reduce sedentary time (ST) of adolescent girls. Two-hundred and forty-nine Year 9 adolescent girls (13–15 years old) from three UK secondary schools were invited to participate in a peer-led mentoring intervention (Girls Peer Activity (G-PACT) project). The peer-led mentoring model was delivered in all three schools. Two of the schools received an additional after-school PA component. PA and ST were assessed through wrist-worn accelerometry. Girls who received an exercise class after-school component significantly increased their whole day moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) (3.2 min, p = 0.009, d = 0.33). Girls who received no after-school component significantly decreased their MVPA (3.5 min, p = 0.016, d = 0.36) and increased their ST (17.2 min, p = 0.006, d = 0.43). The G-PACT intervention demonstrated feasibility of recruitment and data collection procedures for adolescent girls. The peer-led mentoring model shows promise for impacting girls’ MVPA levels when combined with an after-school club PA opportunity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67
JournalChildren
Volume5
Issue number6
Early online date31 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2018

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • girls
  • school
  • physical activity
  • sedentary time
  • intervention
  • peer-led
  • mentor
  • leader
  • accelerometry

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