Changes in physical activity, motor performance, and psychosocial determinants of active behavior in children: A pilot school-based obesity program

Milena Morano, Claudio Robazza, Irene Rutigliano, Laura Bortoli, Montse C. Ruiz, Angelo Campanozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The obesity epidemic and the decline of fitness among children highlights the need for suitable interventions designed to promote Physical Activity (PA) and healthy habits. The purpose of our pilot study was to assess the feasibility of a school-based program among overweight and obese children, by examining changes in their body composition, PA, physical fitness, and some psychosocial determinants of active behavior. An additional objective was to investigate the reciprocal relationship over time between PA and body image. Self-reported PA and health-related fitness tests were administered to 18 overweight and obese children (11.3 ± 0.4 years), before and after a 6-month intervention including nutritional education, skill-learning, playful physical activities, and exercise training. Participants were assessed on body composition, perceived physical ability, body image, and pleasant and unpleasant psychobiosocial states towards PA. After treatment, children showed decreased bodymass index, body fat percentage, armandwaist circumferences, and skinfold thickness. Actual and perceived physical abilities, body image, and PA also improved over six months. Crosslagged correlations suggest body image to be an antecedent to being physically active. Results showed that the multi-component school program may have sustainable benefits in reducing adiposity indicators and improving exercise adherence, physical fitness, and psychological well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1128
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020

Keywords

  • Body composition
  • Body image
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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