Effects of a physical education program on physical activity, fitness, and health in children: The JuvenTUM project

M. Siegrist, C. Lammel, B. Haller, J. Christle, M. Halle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of a school-based prevention program on physical activity, fitness, and obesity. We performed a prospective study in eight Bavarian primary schools (n=724 children, 8.4±0.7years) randomized one to one to either an intervention school (IS, n=427) or a control school (CS, n=297). Children in IS attended 10 health-related lessons at school over a period of 1year. Parents and teachers attended two and three educational health-related lessons, respectively, and also received 10 newsletters on health issues. Daily physical activity (≥60min/day), physical fitness (six-item test battery), and anthropometric data were obtained at baseline and after 1year. Physical activity and physical fitness increased in IS, but it failed to reach significant intervention effects. Nevertheless, a reduction in waist circumference was observed for all children [mean change 1.7cm; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-2.3; P<0.001). This effect was more pronounced in overweight children (>90th percentile, n=99, mean change 3.2cm; 95% CI 1.5-4.8; P<0.001). This easily administered preventative program involving children, parents, and teachers revealed that a generalized approach increasing physical activity will even be favorable in a subgroup of obese children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Exercise
  • Health education
  • Motor fitness
  • School program
  • Waist circumference
  • Youth


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