Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physical activity in schools can improve children's fitness

Date:
February 23, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
A structured physical activity program at school can improve children's fitness and decrease body fat, a new study shows.

A structured physical activity program at school can improve children's fitness and decrease body fat, a study published online in the British Medical Journal shows.

Researchers in Switzerland studied 540 seven and 11-year-olds in 15 schools. Over nine months, pupils randomly allocated to an intervention group underwent a physical activity program designed by experts. This involved structuring their existing three physical education lessons and adding two extra lessons a week. They were also given daily short activity breaks and physical activity homework. Pupils randomly allocated to a control group continued to receive their existing three lessons only.

Researchers reported a relative decrease in body fat, improved aerobic fitness, higher levels of in-school physical activity, smaller increases or larger reductions in body mass index (BMI), and lower cardiovascular risk in the intervention group. However, overall daily physical activity and quality of life did not change significantly.

Ninety per cent of the children and 70% of the teachers enjoyed the five physical education lessons and wanted them to continue. The researchers attribute the success of the program to its use of experts, attractiveness to both children and teachers, intensity, and integration into the school curriculum.

They say the study offers a practical way of implementing a physical activity program in schools. This is important since childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease are increasingly common, and many children are not responsive to programs aimed at increasing out-of-school physical activity.

As well as improving the health and fitness of children, such programs can improve health in later life by reducing cardiovascular and other diseases, they conclude. Since the population of Switzerland is considered representative for central Europe, the results may apply to many other Western countries.

School based physical activity programs are promising, but may be difficult to sustain in the long term, say researchers in an accompanying editorial. Wider implementation of this intervention would substantially add to the school timetable, and further research into the feasibility and acceptability of such a strategy in different countries is needed, they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Physical activity in schools can improve children's fitness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100223191926.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, February 23). Physical activity in schools can improve children's fitness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100223191926.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Physical activity in schools can improve children's fitness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100223191926.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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