Many children do not do enough physical activity. Girls are less active than boys. Getting low-active girls to do more physical activity would improve their hearts, lungs, and mental well-being. There is a lack of studies that focus on ways to help girls to be physically active. Dance is an activity that appeals to many girls and could engage low-active girls in physical activity.
A feasibility study led by Professor Jago found that it is possible to recruit 11–12 year old girls to participate in an after-school dance study, and that an after-school dance intervention has potential to positively affect the PA levels of 11–12 year old girls.
Two-armed cluster randomised control trial, with process, economic, and quantitative and qualitative evaluations.
The intervention will be delivered simultaneously across all intervention sites, between January and June 2014. The sample of schools will be restricted to those operating within three Local Authorities in South West England: Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, and Bath and North East Somerset Council.
The study will take place in 18 state maintained secondary schools. To determine the effect of the programme on children, there will be nine schools that receive the after-school dance programme (intervention schools), and nine schools that do not (control schools). The schools will be randomly assigned to the ‘intervention’ or ‘control’ arm of the study.
The dance programme will be led by expert dance instructors, and there will be 2×75 minute sessions per week in each of the nine schools (40 sessions overall). We aim to recruit 30 Year 7 girls (minimum, 25) from each school to take part in the study.
We will examine whether the intervention results in higher levels of physical activity at the end of a 20-week dance programme. We will also assess if this effect is maintained once the programme has ended. We will monitor all financial expenditure against a formal checklist.
Data – accelerometer, height and weight, and questionnaire – will be collected from all participants at three time points: Time 0 (baseline), Time 1 (baseline + 19-20 weeks), Time 2 (baseline +52 weeks).
- ‘New £743,000 study into whether after-school dance programme helps to increase physical activity and is cost-effective’ – Press release from the University of Bristol, 17 April 2013
- Jago R et al. ‘Bristol girls dance project (BGDP): protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of an after-school dance programme to increase physical activity among 11–12 year old girls’. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1003.
- Sebire S et al. ‘Designing extra-curricular dance programmes: UK Physical Education and 1 Dance Teachers’ perspectives’.Open Journal of Preventive Medicine 2013, 3:1 (pp. 111-117).
- Jago R et al. ‘Bristol Girls Dance Project Feasibility Trial: Outcome and process evaluation results’. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:83.
National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research Programme (grant number: 11/3050/01)