Objectives: To explore the feasibility of conducting a 10-week home-based physical activity (PA) program and to evaluate the changes in insulin sensitivity commensurate with the program in obese young people.
Design: Open-labelled intervention
Setting: Home-based intervention with clinical assessments at a tertiary paediatric hospital. Subjects 18 obese (BMI>International Obesity Task Force age and sex-specific cut-offs) children and adolescents (8-18 years, 11 girls/7 boys) were recruited. 15 participants (9 girls/6 boys, mean±SE age 11.8±0.6 years, BMI-SDS 3.5±0.1, 6 prepubertal / 9 pubertal) completed the intervention. Intervention The program comprised biweekly home-visits over 10 weeks with personalized plans implemented aiming to increase moderate-intensity PA. Pedometers and physical activity diaries were used as self-monitoring tools. The goals were to a) teach participants behavioural skills related to adopting and maintaining an active lifestyle and b) increase daily participation in PA.
Outcome measures: Mean steps per day were assessed. Insulin sensitivity (SI) assessed by the Frequently Sampled Intravenous Glucose Tolerance Test (FSIGT) and other components of the insulin resistance syndrome were measured.
Results: Mean steps per day increased significantly from 10,363±927 (baseline) to 13,013±1131 (week 10) (p<0.05). SI was also significantly increased despite no change in BMI-SDS and remained so after an additional 10-weeks follow-up.
Conclusions: The results suggest that such a home-based PA program is feasible. Insulin sensitivity improved without changes in BMI. More rigorous evaluations of such programs are warranted.
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