Chapter 1: IntroductionChildhood obesity is one of the most serious problems currently affecting the individual and public health (Boone, Gordon-Larsen, Adair, & Popkin, 2007). Obesity is defined as a chronic condition characterized by excess body fat and often diagnosed through the use of a body mass index, where the individual’s weight in kilograms is divided by their height in meters squared (Shepherd, 2009).

Obesity is caused by many factors including sedentary lifestyles, chemicals ingested during pregnancy or infancy, poor dietary habits, television, and the media (Daniels, 2006). Immediate health risks which are associated with childhood obesity include cardiovascular, metabolic, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, skeletal, neurological, and psychosocial disorders (Daniels, 2006). In the long term obesity leads to Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, breast and colon cancer, depression, osteoarthritis, and sudden cardiac death. Over four hundred million people are obese in the United States, twenty-two million of those being children under five years of age (Green & Reese, 2006). This statistic means that obesity claims three hundred thousand lives every year, making it one of the leading causes of deaths in America. Children, on the average, spend up to five or six hours a day involved in sedentary activities, including excessive time watching television, using the computer, and playing video games (Green & Reese, 2006).

With statistics like these, almost anyone could agree that something must be done. Purpose of the StudyThe purpose of this study is to mainly incorporate exercise into the participant’s life, while also determining whether or not the relationship between moderate exercise and BMI is statistically significant. Studies in the past such as (Hollar, et al., 2010) and (Sollerhed & Eijertsson, 2008) have successfully reduced overall BMI through major intervention. This study focuses on manageable afterschool programs allowing students who are or aren’t currently enrolled in physical education classes to be able to participate and possibly reap the benefits year round.

?Significance of the Study Teenage obesity has become all too prevalent, leaving many teens suffering from physical and emotional issues. Obesity in many teens often arises from a well-established pattern of habits stemming back many years. These patterns often include a sedentary lifestyle and showcase poor food choices, as well as a lack of motor activity.

Some young people possess a sophisticated understanding of choice and consequence, while others have a myopic and distorted view of the effects of their decisions (Moir, 2006). Developing a change in themselves is something most cognitive adults have a hard time doing, surely children with peer pressures, despite their attitudes, have a hard time as well. One of the greatest obstacles in the fight against obesity is technology. Marketing, mass media, hand- held televisions and portable gaming units, along with new multifunctional cellular telephones are all factors in obesity and the reduction of teenagers overall physical activity output (Boyce, 2007). The results of this study determined if a correlation existed in regards to physical activity and BMI as it pertained to middle school aged students.

The findings of the study provided useful information for parents, students, and educators as to the effects of physical activities on an adolescent’s BMI.?Finding statistical significance between cardiovascular activity and BMI in elementary aged students provided much insight into the importance of a physical education program in schools. This information was then used to further determine the levels of activity needed to provide a benefit. This study also tested the effectiveness of a combined cardiovascular approach.

By incorporating both play activities with more traditional cardiovascular exercises, some of the monotony of purely cardiovascular exercise was perhaps be lessened; increasing the students’ overall motivation.


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