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The relationship between obesity and physical activity in children

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Motquin, Tammy
Jambunathan, Jaya
Apr 13, 2009
Exercise, physiological aspects; Physical fitness for children; Health behavior in children; Obesity in children
Obesity is a worldwide problem. In 2005, at least 20 million children under the age of 5 were overweight (World Health Organization [WHO], 2006). Although the health benefits of physical activity for adults are evident, the relationship is not as clear in children due to their complex and variable activity patterns (Livingstone, Robson, Wallace & McKinley, 2003), as well as the lack of standardization in the measurement of physical activity. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore the relationship between obesity in children and physical activity. The research question was: What is the relationship between physical activity and obesity in children between the ages of 8 and 11? Pender's Health Promotion Model (HPM) was used as the theoretical framework. A nonexperimental descriptive correlational design was used to conduct the study. A convenience sample of 94 children from the Midwest, and attending public school participated. The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) was used to measure physical activity. Obesity was measured by calculating body mass index (8MI) through height and weight measurements. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to determine the relationship between obesity and physical activity. Additional inferential statistics, such as ANOVA, were also used. A statistically significant correlation was not found between obesity and physical activity (r = .179, p> .05). Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are key players in the global strategy on diet, physical activity and health, as well as in identifying the need for reducing the prevalence of chronic disease and their common risk factors. Advanced practice nurses can assist children in their health promotion by recognizing the complexity of obesity in children. Additional research needs to be conducted to further understand the complexity of physical activity and obesity in children in order to enhance overall health and disease prevention.
A Clinical Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner -- University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 2008
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