Physical Education can improve insulin resistance: The LOOK randomized cluster trial

Telford, Richard David, Cunningham, Ross B, Telford, Rohan M, Daly, Robin M, Olive, Lisa S and Abhayaratna, Walter P 2013, Physical Education can improve insulin resistance: The LOOK randomized cluster trial, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 45, no. 10, pp. 1956-1964, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318293b1ee.

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Title Physical Education can improve insulin resistance: The LOOK randomized cluster trial
Author(s) Telford, Richard David
Cunningham, Ross B
Telford, Rohan M
Daly, Robin MORCID iD for Daly, Robin M
Olive, Lisa S
Abhayaratna, Walter P
Journal name Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume number 45
Issue number 10
Start page 1956
End page 1964
Total pages 9
Publisher Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0195-9131
Keyword(s) Children
Physical activity
Percent body fat
Summary 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.

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.

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).

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.
Language eng
DOI 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318293b1ee
Field of Research 111716 Preventive Medicine
Socio Economic Objective 920104 Diabetes
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID NHMRC 425849
Copyright notice ©2013, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition
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