Physical activity and physical competence in overweight and obese children: An intervention study

Milena Morano, Claudio Robazza, Laura Bortoli, Irene Rutigliano, Montse C. Ruiz, Angelo Campanozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the current obesity epidemic and the decline of fitness among school-aged children, the importance of obesity interventions to promote physical activity and healthy habits has become indisputable. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of a school-based multicomponent intervention in increasing physical activity (PA) levels, actual physical abilities, and perceived physical abilities in clinical and nonclinical samples of overweight/obese boys and girls aged 10–12 years. The clinical intervention group (n = 35) participated in a 7-month after-school program in addition to curricular physical education lessons, while the nonclinical control group (n = 29) received usual curricular lessons. Measures included levels of PA and fitness and individual’s perceptions of physical ability. After treatment, the intervention group showed improved PA levels, perceived physical ability, and throwing and jumping task performances compared to the control group. Results indicate that a multicomponent program can improve levels of PA, fitness, and perceived competence of overweight participants. Findings highlight the importance of a comprehensive healthy lifestyle program that includes physical, psychosocial, and behavioral factors and suggest practical implications for educators, trainers, and teachers in identifying best practices targeting childhood obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6370
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Actual physical abilities
  • Fitness
  • Healthy habits
  • Obesity
  • Perceived physical abilities
  • School-based intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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