Background: In response to the worldwide increasing prevalence of low cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), several interventions have been developed. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a school-based intervention on CRF in Brazilian students. Methods: A nonrandomised controlled design tested 432 students (intervention group: n
= 247) from 6th to 9th grade recruited from two public secondary schools in Florianopolis, in 2015. The intervention entitled “MEXA-SE
” (move yourself), applied over 13 weeks, included four components: (1) increases in physical activity during Physical Education classes; (2) active recess; (3) educational sessions; and (4) educational materials. CRF (20-m shuttle run test) was the primary outcome. Results: The effect size of the intervention on CRF was 0.15 (CI 95% = –0.04; 0.34). In the within-group comparisons, VO2max decreased significantly from baseline to follow-up in the control group but remained constant in the intervention group. After adjustment variables, differences between intervention and control group were not statistically significant (p
> 0.05). Conclusion: The “MEXA-SE
” intervention did not have an effect on adolescents’ CRF. However, maintenance of VO2max in intervention group and a reduction within control group demonstrates that this intervention may be beneficial for long-term CRF and, possibly, the increased intervention time could result in a better effect.
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