The effects of a short term physical activity intervention programme on body mass index, blood pressure, and percentage body fat among high school learners

26 Mar 2010

Introduction: The increase in physical inactivity is thought to be one of the main risk factors for the development of diseases of lifestyle. This has highlighted the need for prevention and intervention programmes that are thought to assist in influencing the modifiable risk factors. Physical activity programmes have been proven to positively influence risk factors such us blood pressure and body mass index (BMI). Interventions by health professionals can assist in combating the problem. This study aimed to determine the effects of a short term physical activity programme on the BMI, body fat and blood pressure of high school learners in a local community in the Western Cape. Methods: The total number of learners who volunteered to participate in the study was 106. The study used a pre-test post-test design. The intervention programme was a 6 week programme run for 3 days per week for a period of 40 – 60 minutes per session. The intervention consisted of moderate to vigorous activities. Data was analysed by comparing learners who participated in the intervention and those who did not. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in this study. Results: Prior to the intervention it was found that 18% were found to be obese and at least 10% were hypertensive. Following the intervention it was reported that blood pressure as well as BMI and percentage body fat was influenced in positive way. Conclusion: One can conclude that, a short term physical activity intervention programme conducted three times a week with moderate activities can affect the BMI and blood pressure levels of adolescents.