Physical activity interventions in schools for improving lifestyle in European countries

Mura, Gioia; Rocha, Nuna B. F.; Helmich, Ingo; Budde, Henning; Machado, Sergio; Wegner, Mirko; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Vellante, Marcello; Baum, Antonia; Guicciardi, Marco; Patten, Scott B.; Carta, Mauro Giovanni (2015). Physical activity interventions in schools for improving lifestyle in European countries. Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health, 11(Suppl. 1: M5), pp. 77-101.

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Background: In the last decades, children’s and adolescents’ obesity and overweight have increased in European Countries. Unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle have been recognized to determine such an epidemic. Schools represent an ideal setting to modify harmful behaviors, and physical activity could be regarded as a potential way to avoid the metabolic risks related to obesity. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was carried out to summarize the evidence of school-based interventions aimed to promote, enhance and implement physical activity in European schools. Only randomized controlled trials were included, carried out in Europe from January 2000 to April 2014, universally delivered and targeting pupils aged between 3 and 18 years old. Results: Forty-seven studies were retrieved based either on multicomponent interventions or solely physical activity programs. Most aimed to prevent obesity and cardiovascular risks among youths. While few studies showed a decrease in BMI, positive results were achieved on other outcomes, such as metabolic parameters and physical fitness. Conclusion: Physical activity in schools should be regarded as a simple, non-expensive and enjoyable way to reach all the children and adolescents with adequate doses of moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science I

UniBE Contributor:

Wegner, Mirko


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology






Mirko Wegner

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2015 16:47

Last Modified:

09 Sep 2017 10:42




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