Benefits of Physical Activity for Children with Chronic Health Conditions

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Title: Benefits of Physical Activity for Children with Chronic Health Conditions
Author: Michaels, Ronda Dee
Advisors: Dr. Judy Peel, Committee Chair
Abstract: It has long been proven that adults experience many benefits from regular physical activity, exercise and/or sport. Over the last ten years there has been an increase in research regarding the specific physical and psychosocial benefits of physical activity in adults and children. However, few research studies have examined both the physical and psychosocial benefits of an ongoing structured physical activity program for children with a chronic health condition. Chronic health conditions including various cancers, congenital heart disease, lupus, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, renal disease, asthma, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, visual and auditory impairments, learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and mental retardation affect approximately 10-20% of children aged 4-17 (Lanphear, Liptak & Weitzman, 1995; Cooper et al., 1999). There are approximately 45,000 children with a chronic health condition in North Carolina alone (Benedict, Farel & Howell, 1999). Because of the proven importance of physical activity and the increasing numbers of children with chronic health conditions, it is important to explore the physical and psychosocial benefits of physical activity for these children. The purpose of this study was to determine if children with chronic health conditions, specifically those with a brain tumor, cancer and/or leukemia participating in Hoop Dreams Basketball Academy would score higher in physical self efficacy and the health-related physical fitness components than children with cancer that do not participate in Hoop Dreams Basketball Academy. The Physical Self-Efficacy Scale (Ryckman et al., 1982) and The Brockport Physical Fitness Test (Winnick & Short, 1999) were used to investigate the physical self-efficacy and health-related physical fitness of a sample of children with cancer that were involved in Hoop Dreams Basketball Academy compared to a sample of children with cancer that did not participate in the physical activity programs provided by Hoop Dreams Basketball Academy. A t-test for Equality of Means was used to test the significance of the relationships between the control group and the experimental group. No statistically significant difference in the means of physical self-efficacy or the various health-related fitness components were found. The small sample size made it difficult to conduct an in-depth statistical analysis.
Date: 2005-07-12
Degree: MS
Discipline: Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1971


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