ActiveChat, the feasibility of a classroom-based physical activity and sedentary behaviour programme in Scottish secondary schools

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Introduction: Self- report data suggest 82% of Scottish adolescents are insufficiently active. Schools play a pivotal role in the promotion of physical activity (PA) and reduction in sedentary behaviour (SB). The purpose of this thesis was to develop and trial the ActiveChat programme: a classroom-based PA and SB programme implemented into Scottish secondary schools. This PhD consisted of three studies: i) a systematic review and meta-analysis of classroom-room based PA and SB programmes in adolescents; ii) an evaluative case study to explore teachers' and teacher educators' perceptions of the ActiveChat programme ; iii) a feasibility trial of the ActiveChat programme.;Methods: The feasibility trial of the ActiveChat programme was implemented within a secondary school over eight weeks. Motivation, psychological needs, attitudes, and habitual PA and SB were assessed pre- and post-programme using subjective methods. In-class PA and SB were assessed objectively. Evaluation of the ActiveChat programme was conducted through focus groups/interviews with teachers and pupils, teacher evaluation, and observation.;Results: The meta-analysis demonstrated non-significant results on PA and SB based on limited studies (PA, p = 0.55, d = 0.05; SB, p = 0.16, d = -0.11). Results of the case study suggested the ActiveChat programme met learning outcomes from the areas of health and wellbeing, literacy, and numeracy of the Curriculum for Excellence, and emphasised the programmes place in Personal and Social Education.;Results of the feasibility study demonstrated significantly positive effects of ActiveChat on internalised forms of motivation, competence, relatedness, and attitudes towards SB. In-class PA was significantly higher in the ActiveChat class compared to control (11%). The evaluation demonstrated that pupils and teachers were positively receptive to ActiveChat, and the programme was delivered with good levels of fidelity (63%). Overall, this PhD research determined the feasibility of a teacher-led classroom-based PA and SB programme within secondary schools.
Date of Award28 Feb 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorAnn-Marie Gibson (Supervisor) & Fiona Muirhead (Supervisor)

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