Research Study Abstract

Barriers & Physical Activity Participation Among Overweight/Obese and Healthy Weight Children

  • Presented on May 30, 2014

Purpose: We compared physical activity (PA) barriers in overweight/obese and healthy weight seven to ten year olds. A secondary purpose was to evaluate the relationship between the number of barriers reported and minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).

Methods: :Currently, 19 participants have completed the study. Height and weight were measured and body mass index (BMI) percentiles were calculated to categorize participants as either healthy weight (5th – 84th %tile) or overweight/obese (≥85 %tile). The Barriers to Physical Activity Questionnaire assessed the children’s perceptions of how often various factors prevented them from being active on 5-point Likert scales ranging from never to very often. Individual items reported as either “often” or “very often” were considered PA barriers. The following sub-scales were created from the individual items: body-related, convenience, resource, social, and fitness. Participants wore an Actigraph GT1M accelerometer for seven consecutive days to measure minutes of daily MVPA.

Results: No differences existed between overweight/obese and healthy weight participants on any of the barrier sub-scales.The body relatedness sub-scale approached significance (p=.07), where more overweight/obese reported items in this sub-scale than healthy weight. At the individual item level, overweight/obese participants (n=9) reported an average of 3.7 ± 1.22 barriers to physical activity, while healthy weight participants (n=10) reported an average of .90 ± .31 barriers to PA (p=.13). Overweight/obese participants reported the following top 5 perceived barriers: being self-conscious about appearance during PA (33%), being self-conscious about their bodies during physical activity (33%), lack of interest (33%), lack of skills (22%), and being teased during sport/exercise participation (22%). These barriers were not reported by healthy weight participants. Further, no relationship was observed between number of perceived PA barriers and minutes of MVPA (r= -.16, p=.63).

Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest that overweight/obese children may perceive a greater number of barriers to PA than healthy weight children, but these perceived PA barriers did not impact time spent in MVPA.

Presented at

ACSM 2014 Annual Meeting


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