Abstract 16014: Combining an Innovative Health Class With PE Reduces Weight and Increased Performance in High School Students
Introduction: Traditional PE programs have not necessarily resulted in reduction in obesity rates in school age children. In recent years, schools have eliminated or reduced the time or frequency of PE to provide space in the school schedule for academic requirements. HealthCorps and the school staff developed and implemented the Fit2Live and Learn (F2LL) program, an integrative approach to health and PE. The goal was to demonstrate whether there was an impact on weight loss from restructuring existing freshman PE.
Hypothesis: Combining PE and health classes into an extended daily model will result in weight loss and behavioral change.
Methods: Benson Polytechnic HS in Portland, where HealthCorps runs a wellness program, implemented the new F2LL program. The prior PE program was changed from meeting every other day to a class that met daily for 90 minutes. Students received credits for both Health and Physical Education. The program combined its traditional Health and PE classes into an experiential integrative approach to health concepts. The F2LL program was a year-long practice of optimal exercise, healthy eating and mental strength habits for students. We measured weight loss, health knowledge and behavioral change using pre- and post- surveys.
Results: In the first three months, the 240 students lost a combined 860 pounds, (mean 3.5 pounds). By the end of the school year (8 months) student combined weight loss was 1233 pound (mean 5.1 pounds/student; p<0.05). They decreased their mean percent body fat by 1.4% and decreased mile times by 2.1 minutes. Additionally, pre- and post- behavioral survey data show increases in knowledge areas related to nutrition, physical activity and mental health. Changes in behaviors related to nutrition were mixed. For example, students were eating breakfast more often (favorable; p<0.05) meanwhile consuming more sports drinks. (unfavorable; p<0.05).
Conclusion: The F2LL program combined with HealthCorps’ program emphasizing nutrition, mental resilience and physical activity, resulted in significant weight loss in the freshman PE class at one Portland public high school. Increases in knowledge and modest improvements in subsequently behavior were also seen.
Author Disclosures: E. Irvin: None. A. Barras: None. S.G. Hayes: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.