Main findings of the review were:
- school-based interventions generally lead to short term improvements in physical activity levels;
- improvements in physical activity levels by school-based interventions were limited to school related physical activity with no conclusive transfer to leisure time physical activity;
- including parents appeared to enhance school-based interventions;
- the support of peers and the influence of direct environmental changes increased the physical activity level of secondary school children;
- the assumption that a multi-component approach should produce synergistic results can not be confirmed;
- when interventions aimed to affect more than one health behaviour the intervention appeared to be less effective in favour of physical activity.
Conclusion: overall, the current European literature supports the short-term effectiveness of school-based physical activity promotion programmes. The available evidence for the effectiveness in other settings is rather limited and underscores the need for further research.