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Open AccessArticle

Riding into Health: A Case Study on an Equine-Assisted Childhood Obesity Intervention

1
Department of Animal and Food Sciences, College of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
2
Department of Psychological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Texas Tech University; Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
3
Department of Kinesiology and Sports Management, College of Arts and Sciences, Texas Tech University; Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
4
Department of Kinesiology and Educational Psychology, College of Education, Washington State University; Pullman, WA 99164, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4835; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234835
Received: 17 October 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 23 November 2019 / Published: 1 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Psycho-Social Impact of Human-Animal Interactions)
In this article, we present an exploratory case study that describes the initial outcomes of the Equine-Assisted Positively Fit (EAPF) program. Children with obesity and their caregivers were recruited to participate in the eight-session program. Results indicated that treatment completers (n = 2) had a decrease in fat mass and fat mass percentage and an increase in fat-free mass and fat-free mass percentage. Moreover, results from accelerometer measurements of physical activity indicated that participants increased their moderate to vigorous physical activity, as well as reported increased self-efficacy for physical activity. Qualitative data from the post-intervention focus group suggested children perceived the treatment acceptable and enjoyable. Findings from this study provide support for future investigations on the feasibility and potential efficacy of pairing children and their caregivers with horses to accomplish health-related goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; children; equine-assisted interventions obesity; children; equine-assisted interventions
MDPI and ACS Style

Schroeder, K.; Van Allen, J.; Dhurandhar, E.; Lancaster, B.; Heidari, Z.; Cazenave, K.; Boone, D.; Erdman, P. Riding into Health: A Case Study on an Equine-Assisted Childhood Obesity Intervention. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4835.

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