A study published on bmj.com today reports that a structured physical activity program at school can develop children's fitness and reduce body fat.
A total of 540 children from fifteen schools in Switzerland were evaluated by researchers. Children were seven to eleven year old. Pupils were randomly allocated to an intervention group. For over nine months they underwent a physical activity program designed by experts. This involved structuring their existing three physical education lessons and adding two extra lessons a week. Also, they were given daily short activity breaks and physical activity homework. The pupils that were randomly allocated to a control group continued to only receive their existing three lessons a week.