Supplemental fitness activities and fitness in urban elementary school classrooms

Mark Stephens, Susan W. Wentz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The physical activity levels of US children are declining. Opportunities for physical activity within city schools are constrained by time and space limits. This study determined whether a supplemental program of physical activity would significantly alter the fitness levels of low- income, minority, urban elementary schoolchildren. Methods: Ninety-nine students from two Cleveland Public Schools served as subjects. One school received a 15-week intervention program where teams of two medical students met with urban elementary schoolchildren three times a week for physical activity sessions. The other school served as a control and received no supplemental activity other than a regularly scheduled physical education class held once a week. We obtained field measurements of skinfold thickness, heart rate response to submaximal exercise, and sit and reach flexibility. Results: The supplemental activity group showed significant improvements in flexibility, body composition, and heart rate response to submaximal exercise. Conclusions: This investigation indicates that a program of fitness activities conducted within the classroom can significantly improve levels of fitness in urban elementary schoolchildren.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-223
Number of pages4
JournalFamily medicine
Volume30
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998

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Exercise
Heart Rate
Skinfold Thickness
Physical Education and Training
Body Composition
Medical Students
Students

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice

Cite this

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Supplemental fitness activities and fitness in urban elementary school classrooms. / Stephens, Mark; Wentz, Susan W.

In: Family medicine, Vol. 30, No. 3, 01.03.1998, p. 220-223.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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