Effects of a Brief Physical Activity Program on Young Students' Physical Fitness

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 Oct;54(12):1145-52. doi: 10.1177/0009922815569204. Epub 2015 Feb 2.


Background: Our objective was to test whether brief daily activity could increase young students' physical fitness and compare different forms of intervention delivery.

Methods: Two intervention groups were instructed to increase children's activity by 6 minutes daily. The principal was responsible for the intervention in the first group while classroom teachers were responsible in the second. The third group was a control. Success was defined by changes in student fitness.

Results: The principal-led group had a significant increase in the number of 75-foot laps completed after intervention (+0.61 laps) and a significant decrease in after-exercise heart rate (-37.4 beats per minute) as compared with the control group. The teacher-led group experienced no change in either outcome.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that a 6-minute increase in activity can produce a significant improvement in student fitness. Administrative support of school-based interventions can have a positive impact on program completion.

Keywords: exercise; pediatric obesity; physical fitness; program; schools.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*