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Circulation. 2009 Dec 1;120(22):2251-9. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.865808. Epub 2009 Nov 17.

Effect of increased exercise in school children on physical fitness and endothelial progenitor cells: a prospective randomized trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cardiology, University of Leipzig, Heart Center, 4289 Leipzig, Germany. waltherc@medizin.uni-leipzig.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this prospective, randomized study was to examine whether additional school exercise lessons would result in improved peak oxygen uptake (primary end point) and body mass index-standard deviation score, motor and coordinative abilities, circulating progenitor cells, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (major secondary end points).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Seven sixth-grade classes (182 children, aged 11.1+/-0.7 years) were randomized to an intervention group (4 classes with 109 students) with daily school exercise lessons for 1 year and a control group (3 classes with 73 students) with regular school sports twice weekly. The significant effects of intervention estimated from ANCOVA adjusted for intraclass correlation were the following: increase of peak o(2) (3.7 mL/kg per minute; 95% confidence interval, 0.3 to 7.2) and increase of circulating progenitor cells evaluated by flow cytometry (97 cells per 1 x 10(6) leukocytes; 95% confidence interval, 13 to 181). No significant difference was seen for body mass index-standard deviation score (-0.08; 95% confidence interval, -0.28 to 0.13); however, there was a trend to reduction of the prevalence of overweight and obese children in the intervention group (from 12.8% to 7.3%). No treatment effect was seen for motor and coordinative abilities (4; 95% confidence interval, -1 to 8) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.03 mmol/L; 95% confidence interval, -0.08 to 0.14).

CONCLUSIONS:

Regular physical activity by means of daily school exercise lessons has a significant positive effect on physical fitness (o(2)max). Furthermore, the number of circulating progenitor cells can be increased, and there is a positive trend in body mass index-standard deviation score reduction and motor ability improvement. Therefore, we conclude that primary prevention by means of increasing physical activity should start in childhood.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:

URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Identifier: NCT00176371.

PMID:
19920000
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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