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Effectiveness of Community-Based Minigrants to Increase Physical Activity and Decrease Sedentary Time in Youth

Moore, Justin B. PhD, MS, FACSM; Brinkley, Jason PhD; Morris, Sara F. MAT, MPH, RD; Oniffrey, Theresa M. MPH; Kolbe, Mary Bea MPH, RD

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: July/August 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 4 - p 370–378
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000274
Original Articles
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Objective: To determine the effectiveness of targeted grant funding for the implementation of multilevel community interventions to increase moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and decrease time spent sedentary among a large sample of youth in North Carolina.

Design: A repeated, cross-sectional, group-randomized controlled trial design with a delayed treatment group.

Setting: Twenty counties in North Carolina.

Participants: Analyses were conducted on 2138 youth, grades 4 to 8, who provided complete data across the 3 waves.

Intervention: The North Carolina Eat Smart, Move More Community Grants program consisted of 20 separate community interventions implemented by grantees that targeted increasing physical activity and/or decreasing sedentary time in youth. County grantees were pair-matched and randomized to receive funding for implementation in year 1 (2010-2011) or year 2 (2011-2012). MVPA/sedentary time was assessed via accelerometer with demographics assessed via self-report in 3 waves of data collection (fall 2010, 2011, and 2012).

Main Outcome Measure: MVPA and sedentary time measured via accelerometry.

Results: After adjusting for covariates, there was no difference in MVPA between counties implementing in year 1 (2010-2011) and those implementing in year 2 (2011-2012; ie, waitlist controls) comparing data collection wave 1 to wave 2 (fall 2010-2011). A significant increase of 2.32 minutes per day of MVPA was observed following the implementation year across all counties as compared with the baseline year. Differences were largely driven by increased MVPA in elementary school youth (fourth and fifth grades). No significant changes in sedentary time were observed.

Conclusions: Low-cost, high-reach mini-grants can have a small, but meaningful effect on children's MVPA, with greater effects seen in younger children. Future studies should examine characteristics of mini-grants projects that are associated with the greatest increases in MVPA among youth.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.The objective of this article is to determine the effectiveness of targeted grant funding for the implementation of multilevel community interventions to increase moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and decrease time spent sedentary among a large sample of youth in North Carolina.

Department of Health Promotion, Education, & Behavior (Dr Moore) and Office of Research (Ms Oniffrey), Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia; Department of Biostatistics, East Carolina University, College of Allied Health Sciences, Greenville, North Carolina (Dr Brinkley); Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center–Durham, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (Ms Morris); and NC Department of Health and Human Services, Chronic Disease and Injury Section–NC Division of Public Health, Community & Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch, Raleigh, North Carolina (Ms Kolbe).

Correspondence: Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS, FACSM, Department of Family & Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157 (jusmoore@wakehealth.edu).

This work was supported by a grant from the Active Living Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Additional support was provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (http://www.JPHMP.com).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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