Background: We evaluated the effectiveness of a school-based intervention on the promotion of physical activity among high school students in Brazil: the Saude na Boa project.
Methods: A school-based, randomized trial was carried out in 2 Brazilian cities: Recife (northeast) and Florianopolis (south). Ten schools in each city were matched by size and location, and randomized into intervention or control groups. The intervention included environmental/organizational changes, physical activity education, and personnel training and engagement. Students age 15 to 24 years were evaluated at baseline and 9 months later (end of school year).
Results: Although similar at baseline, after the intervention, the control group reported significantly fewer d/wk accumulating 60 minutes+ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in comparison with the intervention group (2.6 versus 3.3, P<.001). The prevalence of inactivity (0 days per week) rose in the control and decreased in the intervention group. The odds ratio for engaging at least once per week in physical activity associated with the intervention was 1.83 (95% CI=1.24-2.71) in the unadjusted analysis and 1.88 (95% CI=1.27-2.79) after controlling for gender.
Conclusion: The Saude na Boa intervention was effective at reducing the prevalence of physical inactivity. The possibility of expanding the intervention to other locations should be considered.