n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Effect of concurrent physical education and obesity-prevention training programme on anthropometry and cardiorespiratory fitness in children

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


School-based, activity-focused physical education (PE) may be an effective, evidence-based method for reducing childhood overweight and obesity. However, it has been found that learners do not engage in vigorous activity during PE classes and spend the majority of class time standing while roll is taken or awaiting their turn to play. This study determined the effect of a 12-week concurrent physical education and obesity-prevention training programme (CON) on the anthropometry and cardiorespiratory measures in children already at the upper limit (50th centile) of a healthy body mass index (BMI). Anthropometric measures included body mass, stature, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage while maximal cardiorespiratory fitness (VOmax) was measured using the one-mile walk test. CON performed a 10-minute warm-up, followed by 40 minutes of strength and endurance training using dumbbells, medicine balls and gym ball exercises, free hand exercises using callisthenic exercises and agility and flexibility exercises using ladder and gym ball exercises and concluded each session with 10 minutes of stretching. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures was used to determine the differences in anthropometric and cardiorespiratory variables over time between groups. A separate ANOVA with repeated measures for each group was used to determine differences over time in each group. One-way ANOVA was performed to determine the significance of differences between groups. When significance was revealed, a test (Tukey HSD) was used to determine the differences between specific means. In the CON, there were no significant (p ≤ 0.01) differences in body mass, body fat percentage and maximal oxygen consumption (VOmax). However, a deleterious, significant increase was found in BMI at post-test when compared to pre-test (p = 0.001). In the PEG, there was no significant difference in body fat percentage (p = 0.108) and VOmax (p = 0.103), and the PEG too demonstrated significant increase in BMI (p = 0.008) and body mass (p = 0.002) from pre- to post-test. These findings indicate that a 12-week callisthenic programme in addition to physical education classes was not more effective than physical education classes alone. As such, more comprehensive programmes that include other treatments such as nutritional and/or behavioural modifications may be needed to curb childhood overweight and obesity.

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