An exploratory study of physical activity and body mass index in a sample of rural Saskatchewan children
Dupuis, Jeniffer Rayne
In Canada, the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has increased dramatically since the 1980’s. Few studies have examined factors associated with overweight and obesity in Canadian children. The purpose of this study was to: (1) explore the relationship between physical activity and BMI, (2) examine the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity, and (3) explore the importance of age, gender, and residency (farm versus town) in relation to childhood overweight and obesity in a sample of rural Saskatchewan children.This cross-sectional study included a self-report questionnaire survey and anthropometric assessment of a sample of children (Grades 4-6) from rural Saskatchewan. Of the 525 questionnaires distributed, 262 were completed with a signed consent form (response rate: 49.9%) and 251 of those students had their height, weight, and sitting height measured. The research questionnaire gathered demographic data about the child and the parents or guardian, data on the child’s sedentary leisure activities, and a 7 day physical activity history using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C). Each child’s body mass index was estimated using the measured height and weight and these estimates were compared to international standards for BMI to estimate the prevalence of childhood overweight (25.5%) and obesity (7.1%) within the study population. There were no statistically significant gender differences in the proportion of children who were overweight or obese. The factors found to consistently have a significant association with the prevalence of overweight and obesity were Aboriginal descent and mother’s and father’s BMI category. The mean PAQ-C score was similar for boys (3.3, SD = 0.64) and girls (3.2, SD = 0.57) and did not differ significantly by BMI category. This descriptive study provided information on the prevalence of physical activity, overweight, and obesity in a sample of rural Saskatchewan children and the relationship between physical activity and BMI in the sample. Findings of this study can be used by nurses, other health professionals, and education leaders to develop health promotion programs to promote a healthier lifestyle for children and their families.
DegreeMaster of Nursing (M.N.)
DepartmentCollege of Nursing
ProgramCollege of Nursing
SupervisorSemchuk, Karen M.
CommitteeRennie, Donna C.; Baxter-Jones, Adam D. G.; Stamler, Lynnette Leeseberg
Body Mass Index