Researchers from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College studied the physical activity levels of 112 Kindergarten and First Grade children from September 2013 through May 2014 in Natick, Massachusetts. Fifty-two (n=52) of these children were participants in the BOKS before-school physical activity program and the others (n=60) comprised the comparison group. This study specifically examined time spent in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity (PA) during three waves of data collection.
The research findings highlight the potential benefits to youth who regularly engage in PA through a before-school physical activity program like BOKS. Previous research recommends selected cut points for daily steps for 6-12 year olds of 12, 000 and 15,000 steps for girls and boys, respectively. Achieving 1,807 steps during program time would account for approximately 15% and 12% of girls and boys recommended daily steps, respectively. Significant differences in mean daily step count and daily MVPA minutes at Time 3 suggest prolonged participation in a program such as BOKS can stimulate noteworthy differences in physical activity for participating children, including differences which persist on non-program days.