Commentary on “Benefits of Activity-Based Interventions Among Female Adolescents Who Are Overweight and Obese” : Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Commentary on “Benefits of Activity-Based Interventions Among Female Adolescents Who Are Overweight and Obese”

O'Malley, Grace PhD, MSc, BSc (Physio); Malone, Ailish PhD, BSc (Physio), MISCPS

Author Information
Pediatric Physical Therapy 31(4):p 346, October 2019. | DOI: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000646
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“How could I apply this information?”

The research addresses a very relevant topic related to the importance of promoting physical fitness levels in adolescent girls who are overweight or obese and resulted in statistically significant increases in aerobic and anaerobic fitness, muscle strength, balance and dexterity, and the adequacy subscore of the self-efficacy measure. Clinicians could use either interventions with girls to improve fitness, as no differences between the study groups were observed. Choosing between computer-based training and functional training might be influenced by the preference and ability of a given child at a given time or the availability of equipment. The study systematically increased loading and challenge over time, which may be useful for clinicians running group-based exercise therapy programs. In practice, greater personalization and potential gain are possible through exercise prescription based on the individual holistic assessment of physical health and fitness. The study used suitable outcome measures and field tests although some may/may not be appropriate for clinical settings (eg, 20MST).

“What should I be mindful about when applying this information?”

The authors do not report whether body mass index was based on objective or subjective measurements and children with severe obesity were excluded. As such, readers working with children with obesity should interpret results with caution. Although daily guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate-vigorous activity are recommended for child health, participants were asked to engage in the prescribed protocol only, which in practice would not be recommended. Implementation into practice would be facilitated by a cost comparison between the interventions in terms of time, equipment, and space resources. Similarly, whether this protocol achieves fitness improvements in boys should be explored.

Grace O'Malley, PhD, MSc, BSc (Physio)
W82GO Weight Management Service, Temple Street Children's University Hospital
Dublin, Ireland
Ailish Malone, PhD, BSc (Physio), MISCPS
School of Physiotherapy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

© 2019 Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association