To explore the effects of exercise training on body composition, cardiovascular function, and physical fitness in 5-year-old obese and lean children.
42 obese and 62 lean children were randomly allocated into exercise and control groups separately. Body composition, cardiovascular function, and physical fitness were measured at baseline and the end of the intervention. The exercise groups participated in 10 weeks of supervised moderate intensity exercise training (at 50% of heart rate reserve), 50 training sessions in total.
The physical activity program was successfully completed and no sport injury occurred. Exercise training decreased BMI, waist circumference, body fat%, and fat mass; and slowed down the growth speed of body mass of both trained obese and lean children. Exercise training significantly decreased systolic blood pressure of obese children and decreased their heart rate responses during exercise. Trained obese children improved the performances of long jump, 10-m × 4 shuttle run, and 3-m balance beam walk; while trained lean children improved more items of physical fitness.
10 weeks of moderate intensity exercise training is an effective and safe treatment for children aged 5 years, either obese or with normal body mass.
Tan, Chen, Sui, and Xue are with the Tianjin Physical Fitness Research Center, Dept. of Health and Exercise Science, Tianjin University of Sport, China. Wang is with the School of Health and Wellbeing, University of Southern Queensland, Australia.