Date of Completion

Spring 5-9-2010

Thesis Advisor(s)

Jaci VanHeest

Honors Major



Education | Educational Psychology


The rates of childhood and adolescent obesity in the United States have been increasing steadily. American youth continue to eat more (increase energy intake) and reduce physical activity (decrease energy expenditure) resulting in increased body weight and body fatness. One way to help reduce body weight in children is to increase physical activity. The purpose of this study was to determine if an age appropriate before-school physical activity intervention would be successful in increasing energy expenditure, intensity of activity, and behavioral approaches in overweight girls. The subjects were recruited from Parker Memorial School in Tolland, Connecticut, and two testing periods occurred over an eight week period. Video recordings of each physical activity session were analyzed to determine energy expenditure, exercise intensity, and behaviors during exercise. Data was evaluated for normal distribution, and paired t-tests were used to determine statistical significance. This study showed that the age appropriate before school physical activity intervention was able to increase energy expenditure and exercise intensity and have a positive effect on behavioral approaches in overweight girls.