Physical activity (PA) declines dramatically during adolescence, and activity levels are consistently lower among children living in low-income communities. Competency in a range of fundamental movement skills (FMS) may serve as a protective factor against the decline in PA typically observed during adolescence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a 12-month multicomponent PA and FMS intervention on children attending primary schools in low-income communities.Methods
The Supporting Children’s Outcomes using Rewards, Exercise, and Skills intervention was evaluated using a cluster randomized controlled trial. The sample included 25 classes from eight primary schools located in low-income communities. Participants were 460 children (54.1% girls) age 8.5 ± 0.6 yr. Primary outcomes were objectively measured PA (ActiGraph GT3X and GT3X+ accelerometers), FMS competency (Test of Gross Motor Development 2, six locomotor and six object control skills), and cardiorespiratory fitness (20-m multistage fitness test) assessed at baseline, midprogram (6-months), and at posttest (12 months). Linear mixed models, adjusted for sex, age, body mass index z-score, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and school class as a random factor, were used to assess the effect of the intervention.Results
At midprogram, there were no significant intervention effects for any of the outcomes. At posttest (study’s primary time point), there were intervention effects for daily moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) (adjusted mean difference, 12.7 min·d−1 of MVPA; 95% confidence interval (CI), 5.0–20.5), overall FMS competency (4.9 units; 95% CI, −0.04 to 9.8), and cardiorespiratory fitness (5.4 laps; 95% CI, 2.3–8.6).Conclusions
A school-based multicomponent PA and FMS intervention maintained daily MVPA, improved overall FMS competency, and increased cardiorespiratory fitness among children attending primary schools in low-income communities.