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The Svendborg Project I - II - III

Contact: Heads of project Niels Wedderkopp and Anna Bugge
Contact the Municipality of Svendborg, Mette Skov

Aim and target group
The purpose is to examine the possible effect caused by extra physical education lessons in children attending public schools in the municipality of Svendborg.

Our primary hypotheses are that the increased physical education will cause:

  1. an increase in the physical activity level and aerobic fitness 
  2. a decrease level of risk factors for cardio vascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and overweight 
  3. an increase the number of physical activity related injuries

The intervention
The intervention consists of four extra lessons of physical education (PE) each week (on top of the two mandatory lessons). Control schools had the usual two physical PE per week. The intervention program will be based on the general age-related principles described by Team Danmark. This training concept is chosen since the goal is that all children during the intervention period should experience a balanced physical, psychological and social development, in order to insure that the children will achieve the optimal physiologically and metabolically training-related effects, based on the available knowledge within this field. Furthermore,

Design
This is a prospective intervention study including approx. 1200 school children – an intervention group with approx. 600 children coming from 6 different schools, and a control group with approx. 600 children coming from 4 matching schools in the municipality of Svendborg. The schools are matched according to their uptake area and size.

Svendborg project I (2008-2011)

Effect measures
In this phase of the project the children were examined twice a year by a scientific staff affiliated to the project. The primary effect parameters will be potential differences between the intervention group and control group within the following parameters, which are compared six times during the intervention period:

  1. Physical activity level (assessed by accelerometry)
  2. Physical fitness (including aerobic performance)
  3. Body composition
  4. Blood pressure
  5. Risk markers in the blood (including insulin, glucose, HDL- and LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride)
  6. Incidence of injuries and back problems (registered by the use of SMS-track and clinical examinations)
  7. Motor skill performance (including balance, precision and quickness)
  8. Bone health (including bone mineral content and risk of fracture)

Furthermore, it is expected, that the extra amount of physical education lessons will contribute to a larger group of talents, which can be interesting and important in the long term also for the Danish elite sport institution, Team Denmark.

Status
Baseline data were collected in September/October 2008 and 5 follow-up data collections was conducted until the start of Svendborg II in 2011.

PhD students Svendborg I

Finished
Chiropractor Christina Christiansen
The influence of age related concepts of training on physical fitness, physical coordination and the number of sports injury

Physiotherapist, Cand. Scient. San. Heidi Klakk
Body Composition and Cardiovascular Health in School-aged Children. The Childhood Health, Activity and Motor Performance School Study Denmark. An evaluation on the health effect of sport schools in the Svendborg Project

Physiotherapist Eva Jespersen
Musculoskeletal extremity injuries in school-aged children with special focus on overuse injuries, seasonal variation and body composition

MD Marlene Søborg Heidemann
Bone health in Danish children - an intervention study

Not finished
Chiropractor Claudia Franz
Impact of increased physical activity on back problems in children

Marianne Løgtholt Andreasen
Effekt af øget fysisk aktivitet hos børn fra en sundhedsøkonomisk vinkel

Svendborg II (2011-2014)

Aim
To continue measuring some of the same variables as in Svendborg I, to develop screening tools for risk of injuries and to evaluate the effect of selected prevention- and treatment methods for children with musculoskeletal complains.

Effect measures
In this phase of the project the children were examined twice by a scientific staff affiliated to the project. The primary effect parameters were:

  1. Physical activity level (assessed by accelerometry)
  2. Physical fitness (including aerobic performance)
  3. Body composition
  4. Incidence of injuries and back problems (registered by the use of SMS-track and clinical examinations)
  5. Motor skill performance (including balance, precision and quickness)
  6. Hypermobility

PhD students Svendborg II

Finished
Physiotherapist, MFE, Tina Junge
Risk factors for knee injuries in 8-15 year old children – the impact of Generalised Joint Hypermobility. The CHAMPS study Denmark.

Physiotherapist, Cand. Scient. San. Lisbeth Runge Larsen
Childhood motor performance as predictor of physical activity and physical activity related injuries

Not finished
Kiropraktor Kristina Boe Dissing
Conservative care with or without manipulative therapy in the management of back and neck pain in Danish children aged 9-15. A randomized controlled trial

Kiropraktor Signe Fuglkjær Møller
Musculoskeletal extremity complaints in children - prevalence, course and significance of different prognostic factors

Svendborg III (2014-2017)

Aim
To continue measuring some of the same variables as in Svendborg I and II and in that way assess long-term effects of the intervention on life-style diseases, body composition, physical activity level. Svendborg III expands the study by including measurements of cognition, academic performance and eye examinations. Furthermore, a process evaluation part to strengthen the knowledge translation between research and practice has been added to the study.

Effect measures
The primary effect parameters are:

  1. Physical activity level (assessed by accelerometry)
  2. Physical fitness (including aerobic performance)
  3. Body composition
  4. Blood pressure
  5. Risk markers in the blood (including insulin, glucose, HDL- and LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride)
  6. Bone health (including bone mineral content and risk of fracture)
  7. Cognitive function
  8. Academic performance
  9. Eye examinations

Furthermore, a comprehensive process evaluation is being conducted.

PhD students Svendborg III

Finished

Not finished
M. Sc. Jakob Tarp
Epidemiological relationships between physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity with cardiometabolic risk factors in youth

M. Sc. San. Publ. Jonas Vestergaard Nielsen
Process evaluation of the Svendborg Project – Translating Research to Practice

Maria Sode Rønne
Bone mineralization and the relation to fat tissue, glucose metabolism and puberty

Kristian Lundberg
CHAMPS Eye Study

Partnerships
The partners in the Project are: Team Danmark, UCL Lillebælt, , Svendborg Kommune, Steffen Husby og Jørgen Schou, H.C. Andersen Børnehospital.

The project is financially supported by TrygFonden, Team Danmark, Region Syddanmark and IMK Almene Fond.

This project requires a substantial amount of man-power, especially when collecting data. Therefore, we appreciate the great interest and contribution from so many people, especially sports students, physiotherapist students, chiropractic students, and nurse students. These persons have served as testers during data collections and many have been doing their bachelor- master and pre-graduate theses on the data from the Svendborg study.

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