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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

The Relationship Between the Body Mass Index and the Daily Physical Activiy of Children and Their Parents

Obesity is a problem that children locally and across the nation are facing. The objective of this study was to compare fifth grade children’s BMI and daily physical activity to their parents’ BMI and daily physical activity. The participants were 36 children from a Northeastern US urban elementary school in grade five and 18 of their parents. The parents and children wore the Yamax Digiwalker pedometer for 7 consecutive days in March 2012. Height/weight of the children was obtained and converted into BMI scores. For five consecutive school days (Tuesday – Monday) the children reported their previous day’s step counts in the presence of the researchers. The parents self-reported their daily step counts on a log sheet. Calculation of the means, standard deviations, paired and independent t tests, ANOVA’s, and Pearson correlations were utilized to analyze data. Results suggested that children took 9,535 (SD=2,594) steps/day, while female parents took 5,209 (SD=2,832) steps, and male parents took 10,161 (SD=7,010) steps per day. Children were significantly more active than their female parents and less active than their male parents. Boys took more steps than girls. Caucasian children took more steps than African American and Hispanic children. Healthy BMI children took more weekly steps than overweight and obese BMI children. Children took significantly more steps on physical education days than non-physical education days. Realistic programs in an urban area ought to be developed where children and their parents can be physically active together. When children and their parents participate in physical activity, and have a healthy lifestyle, they can be equipped to maintain a healthy body weight.

Presenter: Jennifer Harmon (SUNY Brockport) -- jhar0112@brockport.edu
Topic: Education - Panel
Location: 122 Hartwell
Time: 2:15 pm (Session III)