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Laura Spivey Kabiri, Katy Mitchell, Wayne Brewer and Alexis Ortiz

Almost 2 million American children are homeschooled but no information is currently available regarding motor skill proficiency within this population. The purpose of this research was to describe motor skill proficiency among homeschooled children and assess differences in homeschooled subgroups. This crosssectional study screened 73 homeschooled children aged 5–8 years for overall motor skill proficiency using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition, Short Form (BOT-2 SF). Independent t tests examined differences in motor skill proficiency within the homeschooled population. Mann-Whitney U tests examined differences in motor skill proficiency classification within significantly different subgroups. Homeschooled children demonstrated average motor proficiency. Significantly different motor proficiency was seen among homeschooled children participating in 3 or more hours of organized sports per week, t(71) = 2.805, p = .006, 95% CI = 1.77, 10.49, and whose primary caregiver was employed versus unemployed, t(71) = –3.875, p < .001, 95% CI = –13.29, –4.26. Mann-Whitney U tests revealed significantly different motor skill proficiency classification in these same subgroups. Overall, homeschooling showed no detrimental effect on motor skill proficiency. Participation in 3 or more hours of organized sports per week or having an unemployed primary caregiver may improve motor skill proficiency among this population.

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Laura S. Kabiri, Katy Mitchell, Wayne Brewer and Alexis Ortiz

Purpose:

The growth and unregulated structure of homeschooling creates an unknown population in regard to muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness. The purpose of this research was to compare muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness between elementary school aged homeschool and public school children.

Method:

Homeschool children ages 8–11 years old (n = 75) completed the curl-up, 90° push-up, and Progressive Aerobic Capacity Endurance Run (PACER) portions of the FitnessGram to assess abdominal and upper body strength and endurance as well as cardiorespiratory fitness. Comparisons to public school children (n = 75) were made using t tests and chi-square tests.

Results:

Homeschool children showed significantly lower abdominal (t(148) = -11.441, p < .001; χ2 (1) = 35.503, p < .001) and upper body (t(148) = -3.610, p < .001; χ2 (1) = 4.881, p = .027) strength and endurance. There were no significant differences in cardiorespiratory fitness by total PACER laps (t(108) = 0.879, p = .381) or estimated VO2max (t(70) = 1.187, p = .239; χ2 (1) = 1.444, p = .486).

Conclusion:

Homeschool children showed significantly lower levels of both abdominal and upper body muscular fitness compared with their age and gender matched public school peers but no difference in cardiorespiratory fitness.

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Katy Horner, Emma Barinas-Mitchell, Curt DeGroff, Jennifer L. Kuk, Stacey Drant and SoJung Lee

A cardiovascular comorbidity in obese adolescents is increased aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and left ventricular mass (LVM). We investigated in obese adolescents 1) the risk factors associated with aPWV, cIMT and LVM, and 2) the effects of aerobic (AE) versus resistance (RE) exercise alone (without calorie restriction) on aPWV, cIMT, LVM index (LVMI) and cardiometabolic risk factors. Eighty-one obese adolescents (12–18 yrs, BMI ≥95th percentile) were randomized to 3 months of AE (n = 30), RE (n = 27) or a control group (n = 24). Outcome measures included aPWV, cIMT, LVMI, body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), blood pressure (BP) and lipids. At baseline, the strongest correlates of aPWV were body weight (r = .31) and diastolic BP (r = .28); of cIMT were body weight (r=0.26) and CRF (r=-0.25); and of LVMI was CRF (r=0.32) after adjusting for sex and race (p < .05 for all). Despite significant reductions in total fat and improvements in CRF in the AE and RE groups, aPWV, cIMT, LVMI, BP, lipids and body weight did not change as compared with controls (p > .05 for all). Interventions of longer duration or together with weight loss may be required to improve these early biomarkers of CVD in obese adolescents.