Are school-based programs for promoting physical activity and fitness effective?
From: The Cochrane Collaboration
- Dobbins, M., Husson, H., DeCorby, K., LaRocca, R.L., 2013. School-based physical activity programs for promoting physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18, in: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- 44 studies involving 36,593 children and adolescents aged 6 to 18
- The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
- This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped together to form an overall outcome.
- Fitness improved in the children who participated in a program, and who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity during school hours.
- School-based programs also resulted in increased duration of physical activity per day, reducing time spent watching television, and increasing maximal oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity.
- However, there was no improvement in increasing physical activity rates among adolescents, or in reducing blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI, and pulse rate in all children.
- Yes (without confidence) – for increasing activity time and aerobic capacity.
- Duration of interventions ranged from 12 weeks to six years.