Hvordan opplever overvektige barn å delta i en treningsgruppe for overvektige? - En kvalitativ studie
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Background: During the last decade overweight has become one of the most common health problems in the world. Several strategies have been tried implemented to counter this development. Exercise groups for overweight children are one example of a potential counter strategy. Children`s own experiences of participating in these exercise groups have however been poorly documented. Purpose: The objective of this study was to document how children, who participate in exercise groups for overweight children, evaluate their experience. Material & methods: Data was collected by participating in an exercise group for overweight children between the ages of 8 to15. Participant observations as well as in-depth interviews of 6 children allowed the researcher to gather important information from the participants. The data was later processed and analyzed in accordance with systematic text condensation and thematic analysis. Results: This study showed that children had an overall pleasant experience when participating in the exercise group. The children indicated general well-being, happiness from making new friends, feelings of accomplishment as well as self-determination. It became evident that the goal of getting in better shape motivated the children to continue exercising on their own free time. It was quite clear that activities which focused on endurance and strength alone did not result in as much engagement as “play-centered” activities. The children were also appreciative when given the opportunity to influence the exercise with activities of their choosing. Conclusion: The participants in the exercise group stated that their experience was positive. The exercise group was an enjoyable arena for workouts, and it provided pleasant side effects such as making new friends. Relevance: The objective of this research was to gain insights in children’s experiences when taking part in an exercise group for overweight children. Children’s perspectives are known to be poorly documented, it is however important to ask those participating in the groups to reveal how effective they really are. The perspectives of the children can also help when trying to make this type of exercise groups more attractive for other children. There is a need for larger studies within this area to supplement and possibly confirm the results found in this specific study. It is also of major importance that future studies focus on the experience of the children, rather than the adults alone.