Physical Activity Interventions in Schools for Improving Lifestyle in European Countries
Gioia Mura1, *, Nuno B.F Rocha 2, Ingo Helmich 3, Henning Budde 4, Sergio Machado 5, Mirko Wegner 6, Antonio Egidio Nardi 5, Oscar Arias-Carrión 7, Marcello Vellante 1, Antonia Baum 8, Marco Guicciardi 9, Scott B Patten 10, Mauro Giovanni Carta1
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2015
Issue: Suppl 1: M5
First Page: 77
Last Page: 101
Publisher ID: CPEMH-11-77
Article History:Received Date: 1/10/2014
Revision Received Date: 7/10/2014
Acceptance Date: 25/10/2014
Electronic publication date: 26 /2/2015
Collection year: 2015
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
Background : In the last decades, children’s and adolescents’ obesity and overweight have increased in European Countries. Unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle have been recognized to determine such an epidemic. Schools represent an ideal setting to modify harmful behaviors, and physical activity could be regarded as a potential way to avoid the metabolic risks related to obesity. Methods : A systematic review of the literature was carried out to summarize the evidence of school-based interventions aimed to promote, enhance and implement physical activity in European schools. Only randomized controlled trials were included, carried out in Europe from January 2000 to April 2014, universally delivered and targeting pupils aged between 3 and 18 years old. Results : Forty-seven studies were retrieved based either on multicomponent interventions or solely physical activity programs. Most aimed to prevent obesity and cardiovascular risks among youths. While few studies showed a decrease in BMI, positive results were achieved on other outcomes, such as metabolic parameters and physical fitness. Conclusion : Physical activity in schools should be regarded as a simple, non-expensive and enjoyable way to reach all the children and adolescents with adequate doses of moderate to vigorous physical activity.