The feasibility of a home-based moderate-intensity physical activity intervention in obese children and adolescents

Louise S. Conwell, Stewart G. Trost, Luke Spence, Wendy J. Brown, Jennifer A. Batch

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To explore the feasibility of conducting a 10-week home-based physical activity (PA) programme and evaluate the changes in insulin sensitivity (SI) commensurate with the programme in obese young people. Design Open-labelled intervention. Setting Home-based intervention with clinical assessments at a tertiary paediatric hospital. Subjects 18 obese (body mass index (BMI)>International Obesity Task Force age and sex-specifi c cut-offs) children and adolescents (8-18 years, 11 girls/7 boys) were recruited. 15 participants (nine girls/six boys, mean±SE age 11.8±0.6 years, BMI-SD scores (BMI-SDS) 3.5±0.1, six prepubertal/nine pubertal) completed the intervention. Intervention The programme comprised biweekly home visits over 10 weeks with personalised plans implemented aiming to increase moderate-intensity PA. Pedometers and PA diaries were used as self-monitoring tools. The goals were to (1) teach participants behavioural skills related to adopting and maintaining an active lifestyle and (2) increase daily participation in PA. Outcome measures Mean steps/day were assessed. SI assessed by the frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test and other components of the insulin resistance syndrome were measured. Results Mean steps/day increased signifi cantly from 10 363±927 (baseline) to 13 013±1131 (week 10) (p<0.05). SI was also signifi cantly increased, despite no change in BMI-SDS, and remained so after an additional 10-week follow-up. Conclusions The results suggest that such a homebased PA programme is feasible. SI improved without changes in BMI-SDS. More rigorous evaluations of such programmes are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


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