International Journal of Exercise Science 12(4): 1225-1243, 2019. Although fitness may benefit cognition in youth, most attention has been given to cardiorespiratory fitness despite the health benefits of muscular fitness. Few studies have examined interventions that incorporate both cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness or have been offered during school recess. Furthermore, most fitness intervention studies examining cognitive outcomes have not reported on implementation information. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy on fitness and cognition of a recess intervention in elementary school children. Two schools were randomized to either a 3-month cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness intervention (15 minutes/weekday during recess) or control condition (standard recess activities). Process evaluation (feasibility and acceptability) measures were recorded daily (research staff questionnaire), weekly (accelerometer and heart rate monitors), and post-intervention (participant and school-staff questionnaires). Preliminary efficacy measures included pre- and post-intervention inhibition/attention, working memory, and cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness scores. Some feasibility and acceptability measures were favorable (88% of the lessons were implemented, 78% of the lessons were implemented as planned, and the majority of students and school staff were satisfied with most aspects of the intervention). However, intensity adherence during the intervention sessions based on accelerometry (% of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity: 41.7 ± 14.5) and participation (19.4% attendance rate) were lower than expected. Preliminary efficacy of the intervention on cognitive and fitness outcomes was not demonstrated. This study provided evidence that some aspects of the fitness intervention were acceptable during school recess. However, important implementation factors (i.e., intervention exposure) should be targeted to improve youth fitness programs offered during this school setting.
St. Laurent, Christine W.; Burkart, Sarah; and Alhassan, Sofiya
"Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Efficacy of a Recess-Based Fitness Intervention in Elementary School Children,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 12
4, Pages 1225 - 1243.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol12/iss4/25