Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Students with a lower socioeconomic background benefit from daily school physical activity

Date:
November 17, 2009
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Daily physical exercise at school positively improves students' body composition and exercise capacity. This is especially true of students with a low socioeconomic status.

German school students -- especially those with low socioeconomic status (SES) -- significantly improved their exercise capacity and body leanness after a year of daily physical activity classes, according to research presented November 17 at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2009.

Related Articles


In a study of German school children with high SES and one with low SES students, researchers examined specific cardiac risk factors. Then they randomized 121 students from the high SES school and 58 from the low SES school to either an intervention group receiving daily school physical exercise lessons, or a control group receiving the "regular school sports" twice a week. The average age of both groups was 11 years old.

Among lower SES youth with daily physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness (measured by maximal oxygen consumption or VO2max) improved by 14 percent and fat-free mass improved by 2.6 percent.

"In Germany, students this age generally participate in two weekly exercise classes," said Claudia Walther, M.D., author of the study and a senior resident at the Heart Center at the University of Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany. "Our aim was to look at the impact of additional school exercise lessons on cardiovascular risk factors of children of different socioeconomic levels."

At the start of the study, body mass index (BMI) and fat-free mass (FFM) -- a body composition index in which the higher the number, the more lean versus fatty tissue -- differed significantly in children from the lower SES school versus those from higher SES school. The average BMI at the lower at the lower-SES school was in the 60th percentile versus 48th percentile at the higher-SES school.

"Both BMI average values are in the normal range," Walther said. "But children at the higher percentiles are at greater risk of overweight and obesity now and in the future."

FFM was an average 75.5 percent at the lower-SES school versus 78.6 percent at the higher-SES school. Those values are also in the normal range, Walther said. But the greater average value at the higher SES school suggests those children are more active, have higher muscle mass and don't have as much fat mass.

Baseline cardiorespiratory fitness and motor skills were 7.5 percent better at the higher SES school than the lower.

After one year, Walther and her colleagues compared the fitness levels of the daily exercisers to the control students and found that students from both schools improved their exercise capacity and their fat-free mass. After one year of additional exercise at school, there was no significant change in BMI-percentile but a significant increase of fat-free mass in children in the intervention group. The most significant jump in FFM was among children in the intervention from the lower-SES school. It increased an average of 2.6 percentage points.

Furthermore, VO2max increased significantly in the lower SES school students after the intervention but did not reach the higher SES school levels at baseline.

"What this study tells us is that with a simple method like daily exercise lessons, we can have a big effect on the cardiovascular risk factors of German high school students, especially those with lower socioeconomic profiles," Walther said.

Though the study included boys and girls, it's not necessarily representative of children of other cultures or races because all the students were Caucasian, Walther said.

Co-authors are: Katharina Machalica, M.D. (lead author); Ulrike Mόller, M.D.; and Gerhard Schuler, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

Roland Ernst Stiftung Foundation funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Students with a lower socioeconomic background benefit from daily school physical activity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117124003.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2009, November 17). Students with a lower socioeconomic background benefit from daily school physical activity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117124003.htm
American Heart Association. "Students with a lower socioeconomic background benefit from daily school physical activity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117124003.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First U.S.-Based Bitcoin Exchange Goes Live

First U.S.-Based Bitcoin Exchange Goes Live

Newsy (Jan. 26, 2015) — Known as Coinbase, the startup exchange debuted Monday morning, initially causing a spike in bitcoin’s value. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama's Wildlife Plan Renews Alaska Drilling Debate

Obama's Wildlife Plan Renews Alaska Drilling Debate

Newsy (Jan. 26, 2015) — President Obama&apos;s proposal aims to protect more land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but so far, all that&apos;s materialized is a war of words. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) — The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins