Exercise more effective than gym class

exerciseCOLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Researchers at Ohio State and Denison universities say traditional gym classes don't work for many students, but an exercise program does.

The researchers developed and tested the new program in which students at a rural Ohio high school learned how to create a personalized exercise program. The students spent one gym class each week learning the skills necessary for planning a lifelong exercise program.

Nearly half of the students said that they spent no time exercising outside of school prior to beginning the program, but the number dropped to less than one in 10 students once the program ended.

"These findings suggest that the program encouraged sedentary students to become active. Exercise doesn't have to be a strenuous, heart-pounding, sweat-inducing session that leads to exhaustion," said Rick Petosa of Ohio State University. "In fact, research shows significant health benefits can be gained when a sedentary person becomes moderately active."

The findings appear in the Journal of Adolescent Health.