Regular physical activity improves movement skills in kindergarten children (Reilly et al., 2006). Especially the time between three and six years is an essential period for children's motor development, since children then improve their basic motor abilities, such as speed, endurance, strength, coordination and balance (Sentderdi, 2008), which are bases for many physical activities (Gallahue et al., 2006) and may even inﬂuence their later physical activity behaviours (Barnett et al., 2009; Stodden et al., 2009).
Endurance capability was assessed using a 6-minute-run (as part of the Dordel Koch Test; Dordel & Koch, 2004) which the children performed during a visit at their school, supervised and instructed by trained staﬀ.
At baseline, children ran an average of 851.39 (± 119.21) m during the 6-minute run, with a significant difference of 13.55 (± 5.77) m between the intervention and control group (p = 0.019). In addition, there was a gender difference in which boys covered significantly more meters (51.56 ± 5.59 m; p <0.001) in six minutes than girls; and a significant age difference since second graders ran significantly further (49.03 ± 5.64 m; p <0.001) than first graders.
After one year, children reached an average of 65.41 (± 119.31) m more in six minutes than in the previous year, namely 917.33 (± 131.51) m. Having completed 17 (± 106.59) m more than in the previous year, the children in the intervention group tended to improve their performance more (70.51 ± 128.62 m; p = 0.046).
The gender and age difference observed at baseline with regard to the result of the 6-minute run remained during follow-up: boys and third graders (formerly second graders) reached 952.23 (± 134.20) m and 935.39 (± 124.65) m significantly higher results than the girls and children in second grade (formerly first grade; girls: 881.10 ± 118.29 m and second graders: 900.83 ± 135.45 m; p ≤ 0.001).
For more details, see Kobel et al., 2019