Intervention effects on children’s movement behaviour accumulation as a result of the Transform-Us! school- and home-based cluster randomised controlled trial

Simone J. J. M. Verswijveren*, Nicola D. Ridgers, Josep A. Martín-Fernández, Sebastien Chastin, Ester Cerin, Mai J. M. Chinapaw, Lauren Arundell, David W. Dunstan, Clare Hume, Helen Brown, Jacqueline Della Gatta, Jo Salmon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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It is unknown if and how children’s movement behaviour accumulation patterns change as a result of physical activity and/or sedentary behaviour interventions. It is important to establish the effectiveness of interventions targeting changes in such accumulation patterns. This study aimed to investigate the effect of the Transform-Us! school- and home-based intervention program on children’s movement behaviour accumulation patterns, focusing on sporadic accumulation versus time in bouts.

Baseline and post-intervention (18 months) accelerometer data from the Transform-Us! 2 × 2 factorial design cluster randomised controlled trial was used (Melbourne, 2010–2012; analytical sample n = 267; aged 8–9 years). Linear mixed models were fitted to examine effects of three different interventions (targeting increases in physical activity [PA-I], reductions in sedentary time [SB-I], or both [PA + SB-I]) compared to a usual practice (control) group on post-intervention movement behaviour accumulation compositions with eight components, including sporadic time and bouts of sedentary time, and light-, moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity.

Intervention effects on distribution of time in the post-intervention waking movement behaviour accumulation composition (adjusted for baseline composition) were small and not significant. However, visual inspection of the change in compositions over time revealed that only groups with a sedentary behaviour intervention component (SB-I and PA + SB-I) reduced time in sedentary bouts, compared to the overall sample compositional mean. In addition, the SB-I group was the only group with an increase in vigorous-intensity physical activity. The combined intervention group (PA + SB-I) was characterized by the largest proportional increase in MPA bouts. The usual practice group was characterized by the largest proportional increases in both sporadic and bouts of sedentary time.

This study showed some early evidence to suggest that the “break up your sitting” message may result in greater impact than the “move more” message. Future research, including larger sample sizes, should investigate if this type of messaging is indeed more effective in changing movement behaviours and ultimately child health.

Trial registration
International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number ISRCTN83725066; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number ACTRN12609000715279.
Original languageEnglish
Article number76
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2022


  • intervention
  • children's movement behaviour
  • randomised controlled trial
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Australia
  • Child
  • Research Design
  • Schools
  • Sedentary Behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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