Are we just playing games? Examining the motor skill and physical activity benefits of two after-school programs.
Burrows, Elizabeth Jean
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This project measured the effectiveness of after school physical activity programs which emphasized moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and motor skill improvement. Children (n=41) from sport-based program and low-organized games-based programs were recruited. MVPA was measured using accelerometry and motor skill proficiency via the Test of Gross Motor Proficiency 2. Although, children in both programs participated in significant MVPA (more than 50% of program time engaged in MVPA), sport-based program participants obtained significantly (p<0.05) more MVPA. Children in the games-based program experienced a greater increase in gross motor quotient scores, though not significant (p>0.05), but with a moderate effect size (?=0.06). Overall after school physical activity programs provide positive contributions to daily MVPA. Participants in low-organized games based programs may experience a greater increase in motor skill proficiency. Further research is needed to determine the effects of program type on MVPA and motor skill development.