Award Date

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Committee Member

Merrill Landers, Chair

Second Committee Member

Robbin Hickman

Third Committee Member

James W. McWhorter

Number of Pages

50

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine relationships and differences between motor proficiency, activity level, and parental activity level in children who are at a healthy weight and children who are overweight or obese.

Methods: Forty-four children (26 children at a healthy weight and 18 children who were overweight or obese) between the ages of 8-16 (BMI: 14.3-43.6 kg/m2) and 36 parents (BMI: 18.1-44.7) participated in this study. Children and parents wore StepWatch activity monitors (SAM) to measure activity levels over a 72 hour period. Tests reflecting several determinants of motor performance were also administered to all children including: 60 second half sit up test, Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, and 30 second sit to stand (STS) test.

Results: Data analyses demonstrate several significant correlations between the SAM data of fathers to daughters and mothers to sons. A statistically significant difference was found between children at a healthy weight and children who are overweight or obese for percent time spent in high activity. Statistically significant differences were found between all three motor performance tests between children at a healthy weight and children who are overweight or obese.

Conclusion: Relationships between activity levels of parents and children suggest that children pattern their activity levels after their parents. More specifically, children and parents of opposite genders demonstrate stronger relationships in their activity levels than children and parents of the same gender. Differences were also found for all motor performance tests between children at a healthy weight and children who were overweight or obese, indicating that children at a healthy weight may be more motor proficient.

Keywords

Activity levels; Childhood; Children; Exercise; Health and environmental sciences; Healthy weight; Mobility; Motor ability in children — Testing; Motor proficiency; Obesity; Obesity in children; Overweight children; Parents

Disciplines

Environmental Public Health | Exercise Science | Family, Life Course, and Society | Medicine and Health | Motor Control

Language

English