An After-School, high-intensity, interval physical activity programme improves health-related fitness in children


Motriz: rev. educ. fis.




Abstract Health problems related to a low level of physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents have prompted research into extracurricular PA programs. This study was designed to determine the effects of two different levels of PA on the health-related fitness of school children. Ninety-four girls and boys (7-9 years) were randomly assigned to a control group (CG) or intervention group (IG). Over a 12 week study period, children in the CG participated in a similar PA program to that of a standard school physical education program while those in the IG completed a high intensity interval training (HIIT) program. Both programs involved two 40 minute extracurricular sessions per week. Our findings indicate that the HIIT intervention improved motor capacity (speed/agility), Vpeak, VO2 max and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) (p < 0.05) along with the musculoskeletal capacity of the lower trunk (mean propulsive velocity and standing long jump, p < 0.05). The PA program had no effect on anthropometric variables or hand-grip strength. The data indicate that a 12 week strength training program using workloads adapted to children may significantly improve several markers of health and physical fitness compared to a standard school PA program.

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