Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Kinesiology

Major Professor

Dr. David R. Bassett Jr

Committee Members

Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Steven N. Waller

Abstract

Physical inactivity is a major concern, and is believed to contribute to the high prevalence of childhood obesity in U.S. schoolchildren. To address this problem, the Knoxville Area Coalition on Childhood Obesity launched a ‘Kids Can BIKE!’ program in 2012. The bicycling program is seven weeks long and is designed to increase physical activity, teach safe cycling skills, and explore Knoxville parks and greenways while having fun. The program targeted children in grades 4 and 5 who were already enrolled in an afterschool or summer program. Once a week, the children were transported to a location where they could safely ride. The city Department of Parks and Recreation transported the bicycles to the site in a 24-foot enclosed trailer, and provided staffing. The instructors were trained to deliver a safe cycling curriculum that included both physical activity and education components each week. The children were surveyed at the beginning and end of the program to determine the impact of the bicycle program on changes in bicycle knowledge and to evaluate their attitudes towards the program as a whole. There was a significant increase in the percentage of correct answers for all of the items combined (p=0.008). The children indicated high levels of satisfaction with the program. Bicycle education programs can be successfully integrated into existing afterschool and summer programs and may help children acquire the skills and knowledge to become lifelong bicyclists.

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