A Systematic Review of School-based Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Interventions Among Older Adolescents


  • S.-T. Hynynen
  • M.M. van Stralen
  • F.F. Sniehotta
  • W. Hardeman
  • V. Araujo-Soares
  • M.J.M. Chinapaw
  • T. Vasankari
  • N. Hankonen


Background: Earlier reviews on school-based physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) interventions among adolescents have not characterised intervention content in sufficient detail to draw conclusions about the effective ingredients. This systematic review evaluates 1) the effectiveness of school-based interventions for PA and SB, and 2) whether content (i.e., behaviour change techniques, BCTs) influences intervention effectiveness. Methods: Five databases were searched. Two researchers independently screened publications to check eligibility, assessed risk of bias, and coded intervention content using BCT Taxonomy v1. Results: Ten studies were included. Six out of 10 studies reported significant increases in PA and two out of 4 reported reductions in SB. Effects were generally small and short-term. Interventions effective in increasing PA included BCTs related to self-regulation, e.g, goal setting and self-monitoring. Discussion: School-based interventions can increase PA in the short term, and use of self-regulatory BCTs seems promising. Researchers need to improve the quality of intervention descriptions to be able to identify which BCTs were actually implemented.






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