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      Effectiveness of school-based physical activity programmes on cardiorespiratory fitness in children: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

      , , , ,

      British Journal of Sports Medicine

      BMJ

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          Abstract

          Objective

          To conduct a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials aimed at testing whether school-based physical activity programmes improve cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in children.

          Design

          Systematic review with meta-analysis.

          Data sources

          Using keywords, we performed a computerised search in five databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science and SportDiscus.

          Eligibility criteria for selecting studies

          Studies that assessed the effectiveness of school-based physical activity programmes on improving CRF in children (3–12 years old). We selected interventions that included an additional physical activity programme and not only a physical activity educational component. The reference lists of selected full-text articles and systematic reviews were also searched for relevant studies. Pooled effect size (Hedges′ g) was calculated assuming a random-effects model.

          Results

          Twenty trials with 7287 healthy children aged 3–12 years were included in the meta-analysis. School-based physical activity interventions with aerobic games and activities were associated with a significant small increase in CRF (Hedges′ g=0.22; 95% CI 0.14 to 0.30; p<0.001). Based on subgroup analysis, the increase in CRF was significant in girls (Hedges′ g=0.25; 95% CI 0.13 to 0.37; p<0.001), but not in boys (Hedges′ g=0.02; 95% CI −0.10 to 0.14; p=0.731).

          Summary

          Moderate quality evidence supports the effectiveness of school-based physical activity interventions on improving CRF in children.

          Trial registration number

          Protocol PROSPERO registration number .

          Related collections

          Most cited references 32

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          Predictive validity of health-related fitness in youth: a systematic review.

          The objective of the present systematic review was to investigate whether physical fitness in childhood and adolescence is a predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, events and syndromes, quality of life and low back pain later in life. Physical fitness-related components were: cardiorespiratory fitness, musculoskeletal fitness, motor fitness and body composition. Adiposity was considered as both exposure and outcome. The results of 42 studies reporting the predictive validity of health-related physical fitness for CVD risk factors, events and syndromes as well as the results of five studies reporting the predictive validity of physical fitness for low back pain in children and adolescents were summarised. Strong evidence was found indicating that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in childhood and adolescence are associated with a healthier cardiovascular profile later in life. Muscular strength improvements from childhood to adolescence are negatively associated with changes in overall adiposity. A healthier body composition in childhood and adolescence is associated with a healthier cardiovascular profile later in life and with a lower risk of death. The evidence was moderate for the association between changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and CVD risk factors, and between cardiorespiratory fitness and the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome and arterial stiffness. Moderate evidence on the lack of a relationship between body composition and low back pain was found. Due to a limited number of studies, inconclusive evidence emerged for a relationship between muscular strength or motor fitness and CVD risk factors, and between flexibility and low back pain.
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            Is Open Access

            Effect of school based physical activity programme (KISS) on fitness and adiposity in primary schoolchildren: cluster randomised controlled trial

            Objective To assess the effectiveness of a school based physical activity programme during one school year on physical and psychological health in young schoolchildren. Design Cluster randomised controlled trial. Setting 28 classes from 15 elementary schools in Switzerland randomly selected and assigned in a 4:3 ratio to an intervention (n=16) or control arm (n=12) after stratification for grade (first and fifth grade), from August 2005 to June 2006. Participants 540 children, of whom 502 consented and presented at baseline. Intervention Children in the intervention arm (n=297) received a multi-component physical activity programme that included structuring the three existing physical education lessons each week and adding two additional lessons a week, daily short activity breaks, and physical activity homework. Children (n=205) and parents in the control group were not informed of an intervention group. For most outcome measures, the assessors were blinded. Main outcome measures Primary outcome measures included body fat (sum of four skinfolds), aerobic fitness (shuttle run test), physical activity (accelerometry), and quality of life (questionnaires). Secondary outcome measures included body mass index and cardiovascular risk score (average z score of waist circumference, mean blood pressure, blood glucose, inverted high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides). Results 498 children completed the baseline and follow-up assessments (mean age 6.9 (SD 0.3) years for first grade, 11.1 (0.5) years for fifth grade). After adjustment for grade, sex, baseline values, and clustering within classes, children in the intervention arm compared with controls showed more negative changes in the z score of the sum of four skinfolds (−0.12, 95 % confidence interval −0.21 to −0.03; P=0.009). Likewise, their z scores for aerobic fitness increased more favourably (0.17, 0.01 to 0.32; P=0.04), as did those for moderate-vigorous physical activity in school (1.19, 0.78 to 1.60; P<0.001), all day moderate-vigorous physical activity (0.44, 0.05 to 0.82; P=0.03), and total physical activity in school (0.92, 0.35 to 1.50; P=0.003). Z scores for overall daily physical activity (0.21, −0.21 to 0.63) and physical quality of life (0.42, −1.23 to 2.06) as well as psychological quality of life (0.59, −0.85 to 2.03) did not change significantly. Conclusions A school based multi-component physical activity intervention including compulsory elements improved physical activity and fitness and reduced adiposity in children. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN15360785.
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              Maximal oxygen intake as an objective measure of cardio-respiratory performance.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                British Journal of Sports Medicine
                Br J Sports Med
                BMJ
                0306-3674
                1473-0480
                September 18 2018
                October 2018
                October 2018
                October 26 2017
                : 52
                : 19
                : 1234-1240
                Article
                10.1136/bjsports-2017-097600
                © 2017

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