To test a physical activity intervention (MOVI-KIDS) on obesity indicators, physical fitness and blood pressure (BP) in children.
A crossover randomised cluster trial was conducted, which comprised 1434 children (4-7 years old) from 21 schools in the provinces of Cuenca and Ciudad Real in the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain. The intervention consisted of three 60 min sessions/week on weekdays between October 2013 and May 2014. Changes in anthropometric variables, physical fitness and BP parameters were measured. The analyses used were mixed regression models to adjust for baseline covariates under cluster randomisation.
There was no significant improvement in overweight/obesity with the intervention compared with the control group in both sexes. Further, the intervention did not alter other adiposity indicators or BP parameters. Improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness were seen in girls (1.19; 95% CI 0.31 to 2.08; p=0.008), but not in boys. Finally, there was an improvement in velocity/agility in both girls (-2.51 s; 95% CI -3.98 to -1.05; p=0.001) and boys (-2.35 s; 95% CI -3.71 to -0.98; p=0.001), and in muscular strength in both girls (0.66; 95% CI 0.03 to 1.28; p=0.038) and boys (1.26; 95% CI 0.03 to 1.28; p<0.001).
MOVI-KIDS was not successful in reducing the adiposity and maintained BP levels at previous healthy values in children. The intervention, however, showed significant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness in girls, and muscular strength and velocity/agility in boys and girls.