The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 313–327 | Cite as

Effects of a Three-Tiered Intervention Model on Physical Activity and Fitness Levels of Elementary School Children

  • Brian Dauenhauer
  • Xiaofen Keating
  • Dolly Lambdin
Original Paper


Response to intervention (RtI) models are frequently used in schools to tailor academic instruction to the needs of students. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of using RtI to promote physical activity (PA) and fitness in one urban elementary school. Ninety-nine students in grades 2–5 participated in up to three tiers of intervention throughout the course of one school year. Tier one included 150 min/week of physical education (increased from 90 min/week the previous year) and coordinated efforts to improve school health. Tier two consisted of 30 min/week of small group instruction based on goal setting and social support. Tier three included an after-school program for parents and children focused on healthy living. PA, cardiovascular fitness, and body composition were assessed before and after the interventions using pedometers, a 20-m shuttle run, and height/weight measurements. From pre- to post-testing, PA remained relatively stable in tier one and increased by 2349 steps/day in tier two. Cardiovascular fitness increased in tiers one and two by 1.17 and 1.35 ml/kg/min, respectively. Although body mass index did not change, 17 of the 99 students improved their weight status over the course of the school year, resulting in an overall decline in the prevalence of overweight/obesity from 59.6 to 53.5 %. Preliminary results suggest that the RtI model can be an effective way to structure PA/health interventions in an elementary school setting.


School health promotion Children Obesity Response to intervention 


Compliance With Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report in the publication of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Northern ColoradoGreeleyUSA
  2. 2.Curriculum and InstructionThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Department of Kinesiology and Health EducationThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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