First, it is important to establish a regular school committee to oversee the planning and introduction of recreational activities relating to healthy lifestyles (HL) and to have access to the necessary funding to carry out these activities.
The following conditions also contribute to the successful implementation of HL interventions:
- the confidence, support and encouragement of the administration;
- task sharing between committee members;
- leadership on the part of the nurse or physical education teacher;
- logistical and technical support of parents, teachers and students;
We seek the integration of HL activities in special events (e.g. nutrition month), the establishment of a balance between activities requiring a great deal of work and other less demanding activities, the integration of certain HL-related themes by teachers in the classroom, and the reuse of content from activities carried out in previous years.
This study sheds new light on the implementation process for healthy lyfistyles interventions.
Second, the school committee must develop a logical model detailing the different components of the chosen intervention (objectives, intervention targets, activities, etc.). The logical model is like a roadmap, easy to prepare and useful for the joint implementation of HL activities. Our results show that HL activities would benefit from being fewer in number and better structured with regard to the objectives of the school committee, a balance that this tool should help to achieve.
The conditions for facilitating the implementation of HL interventions that are identified in this study should foster the acquisition and maintenance of healthy lifestyle habits in children without overloading school staff. In short, this study sheds new light on the implementation process for HL interventions in schools and offers a useful tool for their planning and follow-up.
Pascale Morin, Université de Sherbrooke
Deposit of the research report: September 2013