Silvija Kermeci, Višnja Đorđić

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Regular physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits in school children and adolescents. Therefore, it is important to create a supportive environment that promotes physical activity, especially in schools. In order to examine the effects of two recess-based interventions on children’s physical fitness and optimism, and involvement in school’s violence, a prospective study was conducted. The sample comprised of 210 primary school students attending grades one through four (101 boys, 109 girls), assigned to two Intervention groups (IG1, IG2) and a Control group (CG). For eight weeks, IG1 was provided with exercise equipment, IG2 was exposed to daily structured physical activity during recess, and CG had regular recess. Pre- and post-intervention measurements revealed significant differences (p ≤ .05) between groups in physical fitness and optimism, with IG2 (structured physical activity) scoring most favourably. In addition, the percentage of students who were not involved in peer violence as perpetrators significantly increased in IG2 during the intervention. IG1 performed the best in the agility test, and CG achieved the lowest fitness and optimism scores. No other significant differences were detected. Structured physical activity during recess might be a promising strategy of optimising students’ health and school climate.


EUROFIT, Youth Life Orientation Test, pessimism, children, exercise equipment

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