Effects of an Education and Physical Activity Program on Health and Physical Fitness Variables in Children

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Exercise Science


University and public health collaborative partnerships have been active in health promotion and research; however, the majority of these partnerships have been between health departments and academic programs in public health. The purpose of this study was to determine if health-related variables were enhanced among children enrolled in a program that incorporates education, aerobic training, and resistance training provided by collaborative partners in public health and exercise science. Fit Kids (FK) was designed provided by an academic department in exercise science and a local health department. FK provides biweekly, 1-hr education and exercise sessions provided by health department professionals, exercise science faculty, and students. A pre–post quasi-experimental design assessed physical and self-esteem variables in children enrolled in FK and comparison subjects. Paired t tests were used to assess mean changes in health and fitness variables among FK participants (n = 21) and a comparison group (n = 18). Decreased body fat percentage (17.7–13.7, p = .00), increased vertical jump (5.6–7 in., p = .00), hand grip strength (17.1–24.8 kg, p = .01), and self-esteem (13.9–15.8, p = .04) were observed among intervention subjects. Changes only in hand grip and jump scores were observed in comparison subjects. More variables changed positively in intervention participants, suggesting an exercise science and public health partnership may positively impact health-promoting variables in children.


The publisher-authenticated version [Bjerke, W., Burke, D., Zambrella, J., Callahan, T., Argondezzi, T., Galbo, S. "Effects of an Education and Physical Activity Program on Health and Physical Fitness Variables in Children."The Global Journal of Health and Physical Education Pedagogy, North America 2.1 (Feb. 2013)] is available online at: <http://js.sagamorepub.com/gjhpep/article/view/2995>.

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The Global Journal of Health and Physical Education Pedagogy