Resistance training, attitudes toward physical activity, and physical activity levels in children /

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Renfrow, Matthew
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Middle Tennessee State University
Physical activity (PA) levels are decreasing in children while concurrent increases in childhood obesity are apparent. Innovative ways of increasing PA and consequently decreasing obesity rates are being sought. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 10-week school-based resistance (RT) program on body mass index (BMI), attitudes toward physical activity (ATPA), and general PA levels in children. The sample included 118 children in the fourth and fifth grade (average age of 10.0 years) at an elementary school in the Southeast. Height and body mass were used to calculate BMI. ATPA was assessed using the Children's Attitudes toward Physical Activity Inventory (CATPAI) and PA was measured with the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQC). There was no interaction of time and group for BMI, overall CATPAI scores, or overall PAQC scores (p greater than .05). BMIs of children significantly increased over time for the full sample ( p = .031). Although not statistically significant, weight increased by 2.6% more in children in the control group than children in the experimental group. There was a significant interaction of time and group for the health and fitness subdomain of attitude (p = .007). Attitude about participating in PA for health and fitness in children participating in the RT program worsened while attitude improved in children who did not participate in the program. PA levels significantly increased over time for the full sample (p less than .001). RT can be used as a mode of activity to keep children physically active, though extended and unvarying RT programs may produce disinterest. Shorter RT programs with varying workouts may increase PA levels and prevent weight gain in a young population that is becoming increasingly sedentary and heavier.
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