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George A. Kelley and Kristi S. Kelley

The purpose of this study was to use the meta-analytic approach to examine the effects of exercise on resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in children and adolescents. Twenty-five studies that included 84 groups (45 exercise, 39 control) and 3,189 subjects (1,885 exercise, 1,304 control) met the criteria for inclusion. Using a random effects model, non-significant decreases of approximately 2% were found for resting systolic (mean – SEM, –2 – 1 mmHg, 95% CI, –4 to 1 mmHg) and diastolic (mean – SEM, –1 – 1 mmHg, 95% CI, –3 to 1 mmHg) blood pressure. Greater decreases in resting systolic blood pressure were found for nonrandomized versus randomized controlled trials (p = 0.001). There was also a statistically significant association between changes in resting systolic blood pressure and initial blood pressure (r = 0.73, p < 0.001) and body weight (r = 0.64, p < 0.001). However, when limited to randomized trials, these results were no longer statistically significant. The results of this study suggest that exercise does not reduce resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in children and adolescents. However, a need exists for additional randomized controlled trials, especially among hypertensive children and adolescents.

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Carole V. Harris, Andrew S. Bradlyn, Nancy O. Tompkins, Melanie B. Purkey, Keri A. Kennedy and George A. Kelley


The West Virginia Healthy Lifestyles Act contained 5 school-based mandates intended to reduce childhood obesity. These addressed the sale of healthy beverages, physical education time, fitness assessment, health education and assessment, and Body Mass Index measurement. This article describes the processes and methods used to evaluate efforts to implement the legislation.


University researchers and state public health and education staff formed the collaborative evaluation team. To assess perceptions and practices, surveys were completed with school personnel (53 superintendents, 586 principals, 398 physical education teachers, 214 nurses) and telephone interviews were conducted with a multistage, stratified sample of 1500 parents and 420 students statewide. Healthcare providers (N = 122) were surveyed regarding current child weight practices and interactions with families. Statewide data reflecting fitness, physical education plans, local wellness policies, and health knowledge were included in the evaluation.


The evaluation was facilitated by state officials and agencies, resulting in good access to survey groups and high survey response rates for school personnel (57% to 95% response rates); a substantially lower response rate was obtained for healthcare providers (22%).


Collaborative design and implementation was a key factor in the successful conduct of this obesity policy evaluation.