Family planning to promote physical activity: a randomized controlled trial protocol




Quinlan, Alison
Rhodes, Ryan E.
Blanchard, Chris M.
Naylor, Patti-Jean
Warburton, Darren E.R.

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BMC Public Health


Background: Physical activity is associated with the reduction of several chronic conditions in adults. Additionally, physical activity is extremely important for children for their development and cognitive functioning and also to create a physically active lifestyle that continues into adulthood. Despite the known benefits of physical activity, only one in five adults are achieving the public health recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week and only 13 % of boys and 6 % of girls between the ages of 5 and 17 years are meeting the guidelines of 60 minutes per day. This study aims to evaluate whether a planning condition improves adherence to regular physical activity compared to an education-only control condition among families. Families are eligible if there is at least one child between the ages of 6 and 12 years who is not meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Methods/design: A six-month longitudinal randomized controlled trial will be used to compare the two conditions. Materials will be delivered at baseline with ‘booster’ sessions at six weeks and three months. Participants will be assessed at baseline and at six months with a fitness test, as well as questionnaires and accelerometery at baseline, six weeks, three months and six months. A total of 137 families have been recruited thus far from Greater Victoria. This study is ongoing and recruitment will continue until December 2015 with the target goal of reaching 160 families. Discussion: This protocol describes the implementation of a randomized controlled trial that utilizes planning strategies to try and increase physical activity among families. Research findings could be useful in public health in providing effective strategies to families to help decrease sedentary lifestyles. Additionally, findings may help to inform future interventions aimed at increasing physical activity among families. Trial registration: This trial was registered on June 5, 2012 with the Clinical Trials Registry maintained by the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. The registration ID is NCT01882192.


BioMed Central


Action Control, Children, Parents, Exercise, Intention-behavior gap


Quinlan et al.: Family planning to promote physical activity: a randomized controlled trial protocol. BMC Public Health (2015) 15:1011