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February 25, 2010

Physical activity in schools improve children's fitness

LONDON: Schools can play an important role in reducing the growing obesity among young children as a new research has claimed that increasing lessons on physical exercise (PE) improves a child's fitness and body weight.

Physical ActivityThe Swiss study found that children, who were given more exercise time in dedicated lessons at schools followed by a 10 min. exercise homework, were fitter & put on less weight than others.
"Our study was a demanding 'real life' intervention trial, in which we successfully increased physical activity, thereby achieving multiple beneficial health effects, said Susi Kriemler, lead author & a professor at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study of a school based, long term physical activity intervention that documents beneficial changes in all these parameters."

For their study, published in the British Medical Journal, the researchers compared the health of children given extra exercise with those on the standard three lessons a week programme.

One year later, they found that the children, aged 7 & 11, who did the extra exercise could run the equivalent of 20 seconds faster & their body fat as measured by skinfold thickness was 2mm less while their body mass index improved.

However, the researchers said, the children's overall daily physical activity & quality of life did not change significantly.Although the effects were small the findings have important public health implications, they said, countering earlier studies that claimed physical activities in schools 've not been proved effective.

Those researches 've suggested that children simply compensate for the extra sport at school by being more sedentary for the rest of the time.It has also been said that children do not exercise because they are overweight rather than them being overweight because they do not exercise.

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