The project aims to explore whether web-based activity and exercise registration and counselling can contribute to increasing the activity levels and improving the fitness of overweight and obese adolescents, ultimately enhancing their health-related quality of life.
The purpose of the study is to investigate to what extent a web-based intervention can contribute to increasing physical activity and ultimately improve physical fitness and enhance health-related quality of life in overweight and obese adolescents.
Additionally, a qualitative study will focus on adolescents' experiences of being overweight, how this affects their quality of life, what activities they perceive as meaningful, and their experiences with participating in a web-based intervention aimed at health behavior change.
More about the project
There are few documented effective measures for (long-term) weight/body mass index (BMI) reduction among adolescents with overweight or obesity, but research shows that increasing physical activity provides significant health benefits regardless of weight loss.
We also know that there is a correlation between physical activity and quality of life. Adolescents are less active than children, and many discontinue organized activities when they reach their teens.
It is documented that overweight adolescents are even less active than their normal-weight peers. Physical activity perceived as meaningful increases motivation and the likelihood of maintaining a higher activity level.
Therefore, it is crucial to find effective methods to communicate with adolescents about physical activity and guide them to engage in it.
The use of internet-based technology has proven to be effective in interventions related to changing health behavior. However, such interventions have been limitedly explored among adolescents.
Norwegian eighth-grade adolescents, identified through routine height and weight measurements in the school health service with an age and gender adjusted BMI over 25, are invited to participate.
Some schools are selected as intervention schools, and others as control schools.
Participants from both intervention and control schools (approximately 140 adolescents in total) will be offered to participate in a survey, measurement, and weighing, and a simple physical test three times over a year.
The intervention group will be offered to try out the "Young and active" programme.
Adolescents in the intervention group, along with researchers, will develop an activity plan with personal goals for training/activities, log daily exercise and activities, and keep a training diary.
Participants will receive internet-based guidance once a week. The primary outcome measures for the quantitative part of the study are physical fitness and health-related quality of life.
In addition, participants answer various questions related to physical activity, motivation, self-efficacy, body image, sleep, and diet. This way, the study can provide insights into the internet programme's effect on all these variables and their relationships.
The testing of "Young and active" will last for 12 weeks, while the overall study will span approximately a year.
The control group will be followed up according to current guidelines for school health services. About 20 participants in the intervention group will be invited to participate in a total of three in-depth interviews during the same period.
The goal of the qualitative part of the study is to gain in-depth knowledge about the adolescents' experiences with participating in the intervention and being physically active.
Representatives of the end users (adolescents) are involved in development and testing of the internet-based intervention (user involvement).
- The Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Norway
- University of Oslo, Norway