Quality of Life Research

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 407–412 | Cite as

Physical activity, quality of life, and weight status in overweight children

  • Jo Ann Shoup
  • Michelle Gattshall
  • Padma Dandamudi
  • Paul EstabrooksEmail author



This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the relationship between health quality of life, physical activity, and overweight status in children aged 8–12 years old.

Study participants

Participants (n = 177 overweight boys and girls) completed a validated quality of life (QOL) inventory and wore an accelerometer to objectively measure physical activity for 1 week.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s standardized growth charts were used to categorize participants as overweight (M BMI% = 95.6) or obese status (M BMI% = 99.0) while accelerometer data was used to categorize participants as meeting or not meeting the recommended guidelines for physical activity.


Psychosocial, physical, and total QOL (all P < 0.05) were significantly lower for obese when compared to overweight participants. Less physically active children, irrespective of weight status, had significantly lower psychosocial and total QOL (all P < 0.05).


Physical activity promotion in overweight and obese children may have additional benefits to weight management that include improving QOL.


Child obesity Quality of life Exercise 



Quality of life


Kaiser Permanente Colorado


Body mass index


The pediatric quality of life inventory 4.0


Metabolic equivalent


Analyses of variance



This work was supported by the Garfield Memorial Fund, Project no. 50–227, an internal funding mechanism through Kaiser Permanente Health Plans.


  1. 1.
    Whitlock, E. P., Williams, S. B., Gold, R., Smith, P. R., & Shipman, S. A. (2005). Screening and interventions for childhood overweight: A summary of evidence for the US preventive services task force. Pediatrics, 116, 125–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bloomgarden, Z. T. (2003). Prevention of obesity and diabetes. Diabetes Care, 26, 3172–3178.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Institute of Medicine. (2004). Preventing childhood obesity: Health in the balance. Washington DC: National Academies.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Estabrooks, P. A., & Shetterly, S. (2007). The prevalence and health care use of overweight children in an integrated health care system. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 161, 222–227.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Varni, J. W., Burnwinkle, T. M., & Seid, M. (2006). The PedsQL 4.0 as a school population health measure: Feasibility, reliability, and validity. Quality of Life Research, 15, 203–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Schwimmer, J. B., Burwinkle, T. M., & Varni, J. W. (2003). Health-related quality of life of severly obese children and adolescents. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 289, 1813–1819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Williams, J., Wake, M., Hesketh, K., Maher, E., & Waters, E. (2005). HRQOL of overweight and obese children. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 293, 70–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Freidlander, S., Larkin, E., Rosen, C., Palermo, T., & Redline, S. (2003). Decreased QOL associated with obesity in school-aged children. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 157, 1206–1211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pinhaus-Hamiel, O., Singer, S., Pilpel, N., Fradkin, A., Modan, D., & Reichman, B. (2006). HRQOL among children and adolescents: Associations with obesity. International Journal of Obesity, 30, 267–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rejeski, W. J., Focht, B. P., Messier, S. P., Morgan, T., Pahor, M., & Penninx, B. (2002). Obese,older adults with knee osteoarthritis: Weight loss, exercise and quality of life. Health Psychology, 21, 419–426.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Toobert, D. J., Glasgow, R., Strycker, L. A., Barrera, M., Radcliffe, J. L., Wander, R. C., et al. (2003). Biologic and quality-of-life outcomes from the mediterranean lifestyle program. Diabetes Care, 26, 2288–2293.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ritzwoller, D. P., Toobert, D. J., Sukhanova, A., & Glasgow, R. E. (2006). Economic analysis of the mediterranean lifestyle program. Diabetes Educator, 32, 761–769.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Culos-Reed, S. N., & Brawley, L. R. (2000). Fibromyalgia, physical activity, and daily functioning: The importance of efficacy and health-related quality of life. Arthritis Care and Research, 13, 343–351.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Courneya, K. S., Keats, M. R., & Turner, A. R. (2000). Physical exercise and quality of life in cancer patients following high dose chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation. Psycho-Oncology, 9, 127–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chen, X., Sekine, M., Hamanishi, S., Yamagami, T., & Kagamimori, S. (2005). Associations of lifestyle factors with quality of life in Japanese children: A 3-year follow-up of the toyama birth cohort study. Care, Health, and Development, 31, 433–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pate, R. R., Freedson, P. S., Sallis, J. F., Taylor, W. C., Sirard, J., Trost, S. G., et al. (2002). Compliance with physical activity guidelines: Prevalence in a population of children and youth. Annals of Epidemiology, 12, 303–308.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ward, D., Evernson, K., Vaughn, A., Rodgers, A., & Trojano, R. (2005). Accelerometer use in physical activity: Best practices and research recommendations. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37, S582–588.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Puyau, M. R., Adolph, A. L., Vohra, F. A., & Butte, N. F. (2002). Validation and calibration of physical activity monitors in children. Obesity Research, 10, 150–157.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Trost, S. G., Pate, R. R., Sallis, J. F., Freedson, P. S., Taylor, W. C., Dowda, M., et al. (2002). Age and gender differences in objectively measured physical activity in youth. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34, 350–355.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pate, R. R., Davis, M. G., Robinson, T. N., Stone, E. J., McKenzie, T. L., & Young, J. C. (2006). Promoting physical activity in children and youth: A leadership role for schools. Circulation, 114, 1214–1224.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Must, A., Dallal, G. E., & Dietz, W. H. (1991). Reference data for obesity: 85th and 95th percentiles of body mass index (wt/ht2) and triceps skinfold thickness. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 53, 839–846.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cole, T. J., Bellizzi, M. C., Flegal, K. M., & Dietz, W. H. (2000). Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: International survey. British Medical Journal, 320, 1240–1246.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pate, R. R., Pratt, M., Blair, S. N., Haskell, W. L., Macera, C. A., Bouchard, C., et al. (1995). Physical activity and public health: A recommendation from the centers for disease control and prevention and the American college of sports medicine. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 273, 402–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Health Resources and Services Administration, M. a. C. H. B. (2005). Overweight and physical activity among children: A portrait of states and the nation, 2005 Rockville, Maryland: United States Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (2005). Selected indicators for children 1–14, Colorado Child Health Survey, 2005 Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition Program.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    McAuley, E., Konopak, J. F., Morris, K. S., Motl, R. W., Hu, L., Doerksen, S. E., et al. (2006). Physical activity and functional limitations in older women: Influence of self-efficacy. Journals of Gerontology, 61, P270–P277.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo Ann Shoup
    • 1
  • Michelle Gattshall
    • 1
  • Padma Dandamudi
    • 1
  • Paul Estabrooks
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Health ResearchKaiser Permanente ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, & ExerciseVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations