01:13am Monday 21 August 2017

Children sought for exercise study

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Dr Sarah Shultz

Dr Sarah Shultz of the School of Sport and Exercise is seeking Wellington region children between 8-12 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. 

“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,” she says.

The study is aimed at finding the appropriate exercise prescription for a child depending on their weight and fitness. “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,” Dr Schultz says.

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

“Treadmill walking is fully weight-bearing and loads the joints at a higher rate and can potentially cause pain or injury,” she says. “The second exercise, elliptical training (or cross-trainer), is partially weight-bearing, while the third, cycling, is non-weight bearing.”

Participants would perform each exercise at their own pace for five minutes and muscle activity in the lower leg would be monitored.

“This is important because if a certain muscle is working more than it should, it can lead to pain or fatigue. On the flipside, if a specific exercise produces similar movement patterns between obese and non-obese children, then it may indicate that this exercise is more appropriate, in terms of allowing normal motion to occur.”

Oxygen consumption would also be monitored to see how many calories are expended in each exercise.

For more information please contact Dr Sarah Shultz 04 801 5799 ext 62504 or email s.p.shultz@massey.ac.nz and ask about the Child Activity study.


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