Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Dr. David Dzewaltowski

Second Committee Member

Dr. Aaron Yoder


Purpose: From a social ecological viewpoint, the way in which individuals interact with their surrounding environment, has a direct effect on their actions. One approach to modify behavior change is to strive to change the environment, thus driving behavior change. Participating in physical activity (PA) is a behavior to be targeted, due to its numerous health benefits. A population to consider targeting for increasing PA is children, as creating PA habits in childhood has been shown to track into adulthood . Change at a population level should begin by focusing efforts on the environments in which children are spending their time. As many youths spend time in school and other extracurricular activities, these settings offer an opportunity to insert an intervention that would increase children’s accumulation of PA. The purpose of this capstone project was to successfully create a training program that built the capacity and development of group place leaders to create an environment that is conducive to optimizing the promotion of PA in youth settings.Through the use of informed practices derived from evidence-based frameworks such as SAAFE, LET US Play, and BASICS, leaders will increase time spent in moderate-to -vigorous physical activity (MVPA), decrease time spent sedentary, and improve quality of PA delivered to children, while in group opportunity settings. Training Program Intervention: An initial brief recruitment presentation that provides a foundational understanding of the growing issue of inactivity is targeted toward group place leaders of all types (i.e., school teachers, after school leaders, club leaders, and youth sport coaches).This initial introductory presentation serves as a means to engage with the audience on the importance and benefits of regular PA. Group place leaders who express interest in the program receive access to the subsequent series of online educational modules and other resources. The online modules will educate group place leaders through introduction and elaboration of evidence-based practices. Impact: As of 2016, only 21.6% of children in America were reaching the recommended guidelines for MVPA. Creating a training program that builds the capacity of group place leaders couldn’t potentially result in an increased amount of time children spend in MVPA per day. This would be achieved throught building the leaders capacity to insert segments of physical activity into their session, as well as educating them on how to implement evidence-based practices in order to ensure high quality physical activity is being delivered.