Recreation Center

New Study Examines the Influence of Pedometers on Childhood Weight Loss

family running together

Finding the best way to help children lose weight can be hard if you don’t know the science behind the process. According to the ACE® Fitness Journal, obesity affects 17% of children and adolescents in the United States. In a study done by Amanda E. Staiano Ph.D., she examined the influence of step goals and pedometers in efforts to improve children’s weight loss, physical activity, and psychological health.

kids walking outside in park

Results suggest the use of a pedometer can provide a solid start to a healthy new lifestyle long-term. Wearing it every day, and individualizing step goals (such as a 500-step increase each week above your baseline), are key to motivating children towards accomplishing their goal(s). The takeaway from Staiano’s research is that wearable activity trackers are effective only if the wearer is working toward an individualized step goal.

group of kids running 

Taking steps towards a bigger goal is only the start of the weight loss process. Consistency and staying motivated are highly important. It is important to recognize that how people feel in their daily lives is tremendously important to weight management success. Successfully managing small but effective fitness goals early one, like daily step-counts, instills confidence and motivates children to conquer bigger goals in the future while setting the stage for long-term healthy habits.

ACE. “Taking Steps to weight loss.” Fitness Journal. April 2019: 4-5. Print. 
Barlow, S.E., et al. 2007. Expert committee recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity: Summary report. Pediatrics, 120 (Suppl. 4), S164-92.
Flodmark, C.E. 2016. What’s new in childhood obesity and what do we still need to establish? Acta Pediatrica, 105 (10), 116-18.
Kist, C., et al. 2016. Physical activity in clinical pediatric weight management programs: Current practices and recommendations. Clinical Pediatrics, 55 (13), 1219-29.
Ogden, C.L., et al. 2016. Trends in obesity prevalence in the United States, 1988-1994 through 2013-2014. Journal of the American Medical Association, 315 (21), 2292-99.
U.S Preventive Services Task Force. 2017. Screening for obesity in children and adolescents: U.S Preventative Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA, 317 (23), 2417-26.