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Providing Mothers with a Pedometer and Subsequent Effect on the Physical Activity of Their Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Children with Obesity

Journal article
Authors U. Borjesson
M. Wigren
A. Billhult
Lena Margareta Nordeman
Ronny K Gunnarsson
Published in Childhood Obesity
ISSN 2153-2168
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1089/chi.2019.0078
Keywords exercise, mothers, motivation, pediatric obesity, physical activity, preventing childhood obesity, body-mass index, global burden, Pediatrics
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Pediatrics, Endocrinology and Diabetes

Abstract

Background: Obesity continues to rise, particularly among children, and is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Physical activity may reduce weight and increase well-being. A pedometer study from the United States, Australia, and Sweden showed that boys need to walk 15,000 steps/day, and girls 12,000 steps/day to maintain a healthy profile. Research shows children with obesity have limited physical activity and they may need parent support to increase their physical activity level. Objective: The aim of this randomized controlled study was to estimate the effect of mothers using pedometers on their children's daily number of steps. Methods: Children/adolescents aged 6-16 years were included and all of them received a pedometer and a step diary. In the intervention group, their mothers received pedometers but not so in the control group. Fifty children were randomized and 32 could be followed-up for 24 weeks. There was no difference in outcome between groups in intention to treat analysis. A complete case analysis showed that the intervention group increased their daily steps (2400, 95% confidence interval 430-4500) compared with the control group (p = 0.019). Conclusions: Involving and activating mothers may increase the children and adolescent's physical activity if implemented more successfully than was done in this study.

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