Effectiveness of a School-Based Fitness Program on Youths’ Physical and Psychosocial Health Outcomes

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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  • 1 University of Minnesota
  • 2 University of Kentucky
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of an existing physical fitness program (CHAMPIONS) implemented during physical education on health-related indices (BMI percentile, waist circumference, cardiorespiratory endurance), self-perceptions, academic performance, and behavioral conduct over a school year. Students in 3 intervention (n = 331) and 3 control (n = 745) middle schools participated in the study that included assessments at pre, mid, and postintervention. Multivariate repeated measures analyses indicated that boys and girls in CHAMPIONS compared favorably (p < .0125) to Controls at postintervention on cardiorespiratory endurance, and boys significantly improved on BMI percentile from pre- to mid- and postintervention (p < .0125). Students in CHAMPIONS maintained healthy BMI percentile and waist circumference values over the year. Findings provide preliminary evidence that CHAMPIONS is effective in improving or maintaining physical health indices among middle school youth.

Weiss and Phillips are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN. Kipp is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, Lexington, KY.

Address author correspondence to Maureen Weiss at mrweiss@umn.edu.