Effect of Extra-curricular Sports Activities After School on Primary School Children’s Academic Performance

Overview

The process of urbanization and the rapid development of information technology have greatly reduced the space and time available for children's outdoor activities. In this study, we expect to study the effects of the addition of physical education classes after school on the academic performance, mental health, physical fitness, and myopia among primary school children.

Full Title of Study: “Effect of Extra-curricular Sports Activities After School on Primary School Children’s Academic Performance in China: A Non-inferiority Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: October 11, 2021

Detailed Description

Urbanization has led to a shrinking of the space suitable for residential activities and a dramatic change in the behavioural patterns, which is particularly evident in children. The spread and development of information technology has reduced children's time for physical activity. Previous studies have found that physical activity is essential for the growth and development of adolescents, preventing and reducing obesity, slowing the development of myopia, and is closely linked to mental health. However, parents in China are concerned that increased outdoor activity will reduce the amount of time spent studying and affect academic performance. Currently, there is a lack of strong evidence on the impact of physical activity on academic performance. In this study, we propose to provide after-school physical education classes for students in primary schools in a rapidly urbanizing area, and assess the effects of the intervention on children's academic performance, physical fitness, myopia, and mental health to provide evidence for the development of educational programs and arrangements for after-school activities.

Interventions

  • Behavioral: Extra-curricular sports
    • The group follows the schedule of school teaching programme. Extra-curricular sports classes will be organized and provided in this group of schools in the afternoon after school until 6 p.m. (Monday to Friday).

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Extra sports group
    • The group follows the schedule of school teaching programme. Extra-curricular sports classes will be organized and provided in this group of schools in the afternoon after school until 6 p.m. (Monday to Friday).
  • No Intervention: Conventional group
    • The group follows the schedule of school teaching programme. Students arrange their own after-school time after school.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Mathematics test scores at the end of the first academic year
    • Time Frame: 1 year
    • The test paper will follow the design principles of International Mathematics and science learning, and referring to the local unified examination papers of grade three and grade four, the unified examination questions are formulated to evaluate the students’ learning in school

Secondary Measures

  • Combined physical fitness test score at the end of the first academic year
    • Time Frame: 1 year
    • Total scores of physical fitness tests according to 2018 National Physical Fitness Survey Monitoring Programme
  • Incidence of myopia in the first school year
    • Time Frame: 1 year
    • Spherical equivalent after mydriasis ≤ -0.5 D in either eye
  • Happiness Assessment at the end of the first academic year
    • Time Frame: 1 year
    • Happiness score is rated by Chinese version of the WHO-5 including 5 items with ratings: 0, at no time-5, all of the time. The total raw score, ranging from 0 to 25, is multiplied by 4 to give the final score, with 0 representing the worst imaginable well-being and 100 representing the best imaginable well-being
  • Mathematics test scores at the end of the second school year
    • Time Frame: up to 2 years
    • The test paper will follow the design principles of International Mathematics and science learning, and referring to the local unified examination papers of grade three and grade four, the unified examination questions are formulated to evaluate the students’ learning in school
  • Combined physical fitness test scores at the end of the second academic year
    • Time Frame: up to 2 years
    • Total scores of physical fitness tests according to 2018 National Physical Fitness Survey Monitoring Programme
  • Cumulative incidence of myopia over two school years
    • Time Frame: up to 2 years
    • Spherical equivalent after mydriasis ≤ -0.5 D in either eye
  • Happiness assessment at the second school year
    • Time Frame: up to 2 years
    • Happiness score is rated by Chinese (September, 2007) version of the WHO-5 including 5 items with ratings: 0, at no time-5, all of the time. The total raw score, ranging from 0 to 25, is multiplied by 4 to give the final score, with 0 representing the worst imaginable well-being and 100 representing the best imaginable well-being
  • Satisfaction assessment
    • Time Frame: 1 year
    • Satisfaction of pupils in the intervention group with the addition of PE after school will be measured by a questionnaire which is designed by reaserchers.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

1. Pupils in the third and fourth grades of primary schools in Yudu County;

2. Voluntary participation in this study with consent and informed consent signed by guardians.

Exclusion Criteria

Exclusion criteria for school

1. Lack of a third or fourth grade;

2. Average class size less than 30 students;

3. No conditions for two classes to play sports at the same time.

Exclusion criteria for students 4. Two or more days Monday to Friday not available to participate in studies under the project programme; 5. Unsuitability for health or physical reasons to participate in sports activities; 6. Refusal to sign informed consent.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 7 Years

Maximum Age: 11 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Yangfa Zeng, Master, Principal Investigator, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Yuting LI, Master, +86-020-87334687, liyuting@gzzoc.com

References

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Cai Y, Zhu X, Wu X. Overweight, obesity, and screen-time viewing among Chinese school-aged children: National prevalence estimates from the 2016 Physical Activity and Fitness in China-The Youth Study. J Sport Health Sci. 2017 Dec;6(4):404-409. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2017.09.002. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

He M, Zeng J, Liu Y, Xu J, Pokharel GP, Ellwein LB. Refractive error and visual impairment in urban children in southern china. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004 Mar;45(3):793-9.

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French AN, Morgan IG, Mitchell P, Rose KA. Risk factors for incident myopia in Australian schoolchildren: the Sydney adolescent vascular and eye study. Ophthalmology. 2013 Oct;120(10):2100-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2013.02.035. Epub 2013 May 11.

He M, Xiang F, Zeng Y, Mai J, Chen Q, Zhang J, Smith W, Rose K, Morgan IG. Effect of Time Spent Outdoors at School on the Development of Myopia Among Children in China: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2015 Sep 15;314(11):1142-8. doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.10803.

Biddle SJ, Asare M. Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: a review of reviews. Br J Sports Med. 2011 Sep;45(11):886-95. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2011-090185. Epub 2011 Aug 1. Review.

Álvarez-Bueno C, Pesce C, Cavero-Redondo I, Sánchez-López M, Garrido-Miguel M, Martínez-Vizcaíno V. Academic Achievement and Physical Activity: A Meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2017 Dec;140(6). pii: e20171498. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-1498. Review.

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