Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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Group Randomized Trial of a Novel Physical Education Program to Increase Physical Fitness and Motor Skills in Children

Group Randomized Trial of a Novel Physical Education Program to Increase Physical Fitness and Motor Skills in Children

The aims of the present pilot study are three-fold, (a) to test the efficacy of the intervention by comparing schools allocated to the interventions vs. control school and (b) to investigate whether an elementary school based, structured physical education program could improve physical fitness and motor skill performance and decrease adiposity in children, (c) to examine the physiological health effects, and motor skill improvement, in an 8-week teacher lead novel school based physical activity intervention compared to a physical education specialist group. Methods: 8-week single blinded group randomized trial, 224 children (age 9.93 ± 2.09) were randomly assigned to 1) Control (C; n= 47); 2) Teacher Led (TL; n=76), or 3) Physical Education specialist led (PESL; n=94). TL and the PESL groups received 100 minutes of physical activity per week, and C received standard curriculum. Movement skills, physical Fitness, BMI percentiles and waist/hip circumference were measured pre and post intervention. ANCOVA with post-hoc pair wise comparisons assessed across intervention group effects. Results: A significant overall intervention effect was found for trunk lift (P<0.01), sit and reach (P<0.01), kick (P=0.008), ball bounce (P=0.007), leap (P=0.004), punt (P<0.001), and Two - hand strike (P=0.039). Conclusion: The program appears promising as a populationbased approach to increasing physical fitness and enhancing motor skills performance in children.

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