Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


First Advisor

Patty S. Freedson

Second Advisor

Stavroula K. Osganian

Third Advisor

Sofiya Alhassan

Subject Categories



A selection of common children’s games were measured in a laboratory-based study to be enjoyable and to elicit sufficient physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) in 3rd grade children to combat the purported chronic energy surplus of childhood obesity (~100 PAEE during the games was similar for boys and girls, yet overweight children expended greater PAEE relative to body weight than healthy weight children. During a subsequent simulated recess program, the enjoyment declined over the 10-session program with no significant decline in PAEE. Using the enjoyable games of known energy cost in a structured recess program for 9 weeks successfully increased total daily PA compared to the control school who reported substantially greater amount of free-play time. The greater amount of acquired PA in the intervention school children did not affect the amount of time spent in sedentary pursuits but it did result in a smaller increase in body weight after 9 weeks. More research is needed to expand on this initial list of games that reduce the excessive weight gain in children when incorporated into a structured recess intervention.


Included in

Kinesiology Commons