Table 1

 Characteristics of randomised controlled trials comparing exercise as a single intervention with no intervention

I, Intervention; C, control; WISC-R, Wechsler intelligence scale for children-revised.
Alpert 19901624 healthy boys and girls, aged 3–5 yearsI: Aerobic classroom activity with music. HR 60–80%30 min, 5 times a week for 8 weeks
C: Outdoor play
Basile 19951753 boys and 5 girls from clinic (day treatment for emotionally and behaviourally disturbed children), aged 7–13 yearsI: Jogging/walking20 min, 4 times a week for 4 weeks
C: Classroom activity
Ford 19892297 healthy girls, mean age 19.8 yearsI: Jogging, swimming or dance for fitness, or weight training3 hours a week for 8 weeks
C: Health science
Herman-Tofler 19982352 healthy 3rd grade studentsI: Aerobics 60–85% Vo2max25 min, 3 times a week for 8 weeks
C: Traditional physical education, not aerobic
Hilyer 197925120 students, mean age 19.1 yearsI: Running60 min, 3 times a week for 10 weeks
C: Ordinary classes
MacMahon 19872754 children with learning disabilities but normal WISC-R, aged 7.1–12.75 yearsI: Distance running, aerobic dance, and soccer, HR >16025 min, 5 times a week for 20 weeks
C: Maze patterns, dodge ball, volleyball, HR <150
MacMahon 19881598 boys from juvenile detention facilities, aged 14–18 yearsI: Long distance running and vigorous basketball, HR >16040 min, 3 times a week for 3 months
C: Less vigorous activity; baseball, volleyball, etc, HR <160
Marsh 198828137 girls, aged 11–14 yearsI: Aerobics, competitive with individual training35 min, 14 times during 6 weeks
C: Social volleyball game
Munson 19883126 offenders from a security institution, mean age 17.2 yearsI: Strength training, frisbee, golf, volleyball, basketball, etc1 hour a week for 10 weeks
C: Discussions
Percy 19813230 healthy fifth and sixth grade pupilsI: Running1 mile, 3 times a week for 7 weeks
C: No interventionDecided when to run themselves
Salokun 199434288 healthy young people, aged 12–18 yearsI: Field hockey (96), sprint (32), discus (32), or long jump (32)45 min, 3 times a week for 10 weeks
C: No skill training
Smith 19843632 healthy pupils, fourth and fifth gradeI: Progressive running10 weeks
C: Ordinary PE class
Tuckman 198637154 healthy pupils, fourth to sixth gradesI: Running30 min, 3 times a week for 12 weeks
C: Ordinary PE class