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Health Psychol. 1997 Mar;16(2):107-13.

Effects of decreasing sedentary behaviors on activity choice in obese children.

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Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14260, USA.


In this study, methods of decreasing highly preferred sedentary behaviors were compared and the consequent effects on activity choice were examined. Following free choice of sedentary and physical activities, 34 obese children either were positively reinforced for decreases in high-preference sedentary activity, were punished for high-preference sedentary activity, had access to high-preference sedentary activity restricted, or had no contingencies on activity (control group). Children randomized to reinforcement and punishment were more physically active on intervention days than the control group. Liking for targeted sedentary activity decreased in the reinforcement group, but increased in the restriction and control groups. Results suggest that reinforcing decreases in high-preference sedentary activity can increase physical activity and decrease liking for targeted sedentary activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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