Effects of Modifying Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior on Psychosocial Adjustment in Overweight/Obese Children

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ObjectivesTo evaluate the relationship between changes in physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior, and physical self-perceptions and global self-worth in 30, 8–12 years old, overweight/obese children (13 boys, 17 girls).MethodsSecondary analyses from a randomized controlled trial designed to increase PA and reduce sedentary behavior. PA was measured by accelerometers worn by participants every day for 8 weeks. Sedentary behavior, defined as minutes per day spent in television viewing, was assessed by self-report.ResultsIncreases in PA were associated with increases in perceived physical conditioning (r=.54, p <  .01), body satisfaction (r=.55, p <  .01), and overall physical self-worth (r=.44, p <  .05) independent of changes in body mass index (BMI). Reductions in TV viewing were also related to increased physical and global self-worth.ConclusionsIncreases in PA are associated with improvements in physical self-perceptions but not global self-worth, while reductions in TV viewing are associated with increased physical and global self-worth, and these psychosocial benefits appear to be independent of changes in adiposity.

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