School can be a powerful influence on promoting youth health but few studies investigated the impact of an "ecological school-based programs" for promotion of health-related physical capacities and behavior. The majority of research investigated only selected aspects like body composition or fitness (A Gentile, 2009) or interventions targeted only to children while, in this field, the “ecological approach” include interventions with children, family, schools and, hopefully, community. This study aimed to assess the effect of a 6-month physical activity programme on different factors of health and fitness in children: anthropometric parameters, physical fitness level, physical abilities and psychological aspects. Methods. One hundred eighty-nine children aged 9-12 years were randomly assigned to Intervention Group (IG - 107 children) or Control Group (CG - 82 children). The programme included information meetings for scholastic headmasters and parents, two physical activity sessions per week in addiction to standard physical education, three education meetings about lifestyle for children. Before and after six months of intervention, anthropometric parameters (BMI, skinfolds, waist and hip circumferences), physical fitness performance (balance, flexibility, arms-legs-abdominal strength, endurance), were assessed. In addition, the following questionnaires were administered: Physical Activity Questionnaire for older children (PAQ-C), Physical Activity Stage of Change (PASCQ), Perceived Physical ability Scale (PPAS), Perceived Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES). Two way ANOVA with repeated measures was used to compare pre-post and IG-CG data; one way ANOVA was used to compare pre-post differences between IG and CG. Results. After the programme, IG shows positive changes in all anthropometric parameters: BMI (1.5%; p<0.001), waist circumference (1.9% p<0.05), waist-hip ratio (2% p<0.001), Sum of skinfolds (5.5%; p<0.05). The fitness parameters were significantly improved in IG: Balance (31% p<0.05), flexibility (5.2% p<0.05), leg strength (6.8% p<0.05); abdominal strength (25% p<0.05); endurance (9.7% p<0.05); despite the arm strength increase in both group, the modification of IG is significantly higher (10.3% p<0.05). Finally, also psychological and behaviour factors increased in IG: the PACES (6.23%;p<0.001), PPAS (9.4% p<0.05) and PAQ-C (23.5% p<0.05). The physical activity stage of change (PASCQ) increased in both groups but in higher values in IG (66.8% p<0.05). Conclusions. Data confirm that an ecological school-based programme has able to induce positive changes in anthropometric characteristics, quality of lifestyle, physical fitness performance and psychological aspects contributing to increase health in schoolchildren.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.