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Massey University researchers to study exercise in children

Massey University researchers to study exercise in children
May 15, 2013

A team of researchers at Massey University are undertaking studies into the development of exercises for children tailored to different body types and whether engaging in 'fun' exercise is successful in reducing obesity among boys.

In the first study, Dr Sarah Shultz of the Massey University of School of Sport and Exercise is seeking Wellington region children between eight and 12 years of age for a project to measure energy use and lower body movement during physical activity.

Dr Shultz's research is focused on the orthopaedic complications associated with child and adolescent obesity, as it relates to exercise prescription.

She explains "I'm interested in how obesity changes the way children move, and want to find exercises that diminish those changes and allow a child to exercise pain-free."

The study is aimed at finding the appropriate exercise prescription for a child depending on their weight and fitness.

Dr Schultz adds "what we want to be able to do is pick a mechanically and metabolically appropriate exercise for each participant, which will lead to better exercise prescription and adherence."

The study will monitor muscle activity patterns during three different exercises chosen because of their weight-bearing status.

For the second study, Dr Schultz is looking for overweight Maori and Pasifika teenage boys to take part in the three-month study.

Participants will undertake boxing training in place of traditional exercises such as weight training and running.

Here Dr Schultz explains "as a biomechanist, I really like weight training and non-contact boxing because it puts less pressure on the joints of overweight kids.

"This programme has the added benefit of including fun exercises that are manageable for kids who may not have the fitness levels to take part in other sports."

For more information please contact Dr Sarah Shultz 04 801 5799 ext 62504, email:



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