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School-based physical activity programs for promoting physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents aged 6-18

Review includes 26 school-based intervention studies that aimed to increase physical activity for children and adolescents.

Dobbins, M.; DeCorby, K.; Robeson, P.; Husson, H. & Tirilis, D. (2009).  School of Nursing, McMaster University, Hamilton.

Review of a number of school-based interventions that aimed to increase physical activity levels throughout the world.  The review contains interventions with 6 to 18 year olds.  The link provides access to the full and summary report. 

Findings:  The studies reviewed in this report suggest that interventions can increase physical activity levels, reduce blood cholesterol, increase VO2 max and decreasing the amount of time spent watching T.V. 

However, interventions were not effective in increasing the amount of children and adolescents participating in physical activity or fitness factors such as BMI. Parents should be a key component in physical activity interventions. 

Implications:  By combining printed educational material and changing P.E. classes content results in positive changes in a number of physical activity outcomes.  Physical education providers should be encouraged to maintain activities reported in the interventions, as they do not cause harm and have some positive outcomes. 

Collaborative practice between heath practitioners, teachers and school governance in order to produce overarching policy should help to increase physical activity participation.  Some implications for further research are also included in this report.


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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD007651

Further Contact Details

Maureen Dobbins. E-mail: dobbins@mcmaster.ca

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