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Academic Performance; Primary Prevention; Physical Activity clinical trials

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NCT ID: NCT02132494 Completed - Clinical trials for Academic Performance; Primary Prevention; Physical Activity

Active Smarter Kids: A Cluster-randomized Controlled Trial

Start date: March 2014
Phase: N/A
Study type: Interventional

The relationship between physical activity and academic performance has received widespread attention owing to the pressure on schools to graduate pupils who meet accepted academic standards. As important, there are global concerns regarding the increased prevalence of lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). First, Norway has a history of mediocre scores on international comparative academic performance tests such as Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) [1]. It is therefore important to develop and evaluate strategic programs that may enhance pupil's academic performance. It is increasingly evident that a physical activity strategy that brings about enhanced cognitive function, better blood flow, and more, plays a key role in this effort [2]. Second, the prevalence of NCDs, such as diabetes mellitus type 2, is increasing worldwide, and such NCDs affect people of all ages [3]. Hence, healthcare costs are escalating to unaffordable levels. The best means to deal with this immense problem is through primary prevention, and physical activity is a powerful common denominator known to play a key role in preventing a host of NCDs [4]. Consequently, both World Health Organization (WHO) and the Norwegian health authorities call for effective primary prevention strategies to promote physical activity in children and adolescents [5, 6]. Prop. 90 L (2010-2011) Act on public health work [6] emphasizes that physical activity in school can benefit both the learning process and public health prevention. Therefore, the objective of the ASK-study is to investigate the effects on academic performance of 60 minutes of daily physical activity during one school year. Furthermore, due to the complexity in the relationship between physical activity and academic performance, it is necessary to identify possible mediating and moderating variables as cognitive performance, quality of life (QoL), classroom behavior, motor skills and motivation. Also, we aim to investigate changes in risk factors related to NCDs and factors that influence NSDs, such as physical activity, sedentary behavior and health-related fitness. In addition a qualitative part of the ASK-Study will be conducted to get an in-depth understanding of the children's embodied experiences and the meaning of the social learning culture in school physical activity (PA). This will give us an in-depth description of the intervention context, offer insight in how the intervention possibly influences children's overall development and enables us to estimate potential long term effects of the intervention. If successful, the ASK cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) could provide much needed solutions to enhancing schoolchildren's academic performance and position the school as an effective setting for a massive public health intervention concerning the prevention of NCDs.