Presented by the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA)

In an effort to manage an obesity epidemic that continues to affect approximately one-third of our children worldwide, treatment interventions often include changes to lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. To this point, exercise has long been considered an important part of a weight management program, but what if we are prescribing activities that children with obesity won’t, or can’t, perform? Obese children have more difficulties with simple daily tasks like walking, climbing stairs and getting up from a chair. Prescribed exercise often focuses on the desired outcome of maximizing energy expenditure, with little concern for whether the obese child can physically perform the activity. The impact of musculoskeletal health, and particularly the associated orthopedic complications, must be considered in order to create effective exercise interventions that can decrease injury risk and affect change in lifestyle behaviors of obese youth. We aim to explore the lesser considered physical barriers to exercise, with a focus first on understanding the musculoskeletal health and function of children with obesity. Effective exercise interventions for children who are overweight or obese will be discussed, with a specific interest in those activities that increase energy expenditure while also reducing injury risk. The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance presents this symposium to highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy weight beginning in childhood, as a means of preventing the onset of osteoarthritis in early adulthood.

Target Audience: Clinicians, allied health professionals, researchers

Educational Objectives:

  • Explain the functional limitations of obese children, as they relate to musculoskeletal health
  • Review the exercise interventions that have been completed, to date, in obese children – with a particular focus on what exercises best affected changes to body composition and weight.
  • Build on objective #2 by identifying which exercise interventions would also have little adverse impact on the musculoskeletal health of obese children.

3:45pm Physical (dys)function of obese children during exercise.
Sarah Shultz, PhD ATC
4:15pm Exercise Interventions that work: a recent history of effective exercise prescription.
Rebecca E Hasson, PhD
4:45pm What is the best practice for prescribing exercise that will minimize injury in obese youth?
Sharon Bout-Tabaku, MD