Home Current Issue Previous Issues Published Ahead-of-Print Collections For Authors Journal Info
Skip Navigation LinksHome > October 2013 - Volume 45 - Issue 10 > Physical Education Can Improve Insulin Resistance: The LOOK...
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318293b1ee
Epidemiology

Physical Education Can Improve Insulin Resistance: The LOOK Randomized Cluster Trial

TELFORD, RICHARD DAVID1,2; CUNNINGHAM, ROSS B.3; TELFORD, ROHAN M.4; DALY, ROBIN M.5; OLIVE, LISA S.6; ABHAYARATNA, WALTER P.1,2

Supplemental Author Material
Collapse Box

Abstract

Purpose: As impaired glucose metabolism may arise progressively during childhood, we sought to determine whether the introduction of specialist-taught school physical education (PE) based on sound educational principles could improve insulin resistance (IR) in elementary school children.

Methods: In this 4-yr cluster-randomized intervention study, participants were 367 boys and 341 girls (mean age = 8.1 yr, SD = 0.35) initially in grade 2 in 29 elementary schools situated in suburbs of similar socioeconomic status. In 13 schools, 100 min·wk−1 of PE, usually conducted by general classroom teachers, was replaced with two classes per week taught by visiting specialist PE teachers; the remaining schools formed the control group. Teacher and pupil behavior were recorded, and measurements in grades 2, 4, and 6 included fasting blood glucose and insulin to calculate the homeostatic model of IR, percent body fat, physical activity, fitness, and pubertal development.

Results: On average, the intervention PE classes included more fitness work than the control PE classes (7 vs 1 min, P < 0.001) and more moderate physical activity (17 vs 10 min, P < 0.001). With no differences at baseline, by grade 6, the intervention had lowered IR by 14% (95% confidence interval = 1%–31%) in the boys and by 9% (95% confidence interval = 5%–26%) in the girls, and the percentage of children with IR greater than 3, a cutoff point for metabolic risk, was lower in the intervention than the control group (combined, 22% vs 31%, P = 0.03; boys, 12% vs 21%, P = 0.06; girls, 32% vs 40%, P = 0.05).

Conclusions: Specialist-taught primary school PE improved IR in community-based children, thereby offering a primordial preventative strategy that could be coordinated widely although a school-based approach.

© 2013 American College of Sports Medicine

Login

Article Tools

Share

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.

Connect With Us