The purpose of this research was to contribute to the childhood obesity mitigation literature by determining the PA preferences of obese/overweight (o/o) elementary students who participated in Club Fit!, a school-based PA program designed to engage the students in developmentally appropriate, moderate-vigorous PA and enhance their regard for PA participation. An o/o intervention typically features PA engagement, but little is known about this population’s preference tendencies. Because preference is a key motivator of PA participation, understanding preference parameters is valuable to intervention design. Each program session concluded with journaling, during which the students offered written responses to questions pertaining to that day’s session. Journaling was an intentional program component for its ability to solicit information from the students that enabled the program directors to track their physical and emotional progress. Standard interpretive strategies were used to analyze the 1,396 journal entries produced over 1 academic year of program delivery that pertained to activity preference (e.g., What activity did you like? What activity do you want to do at home?). The top five most preferred activities were soccer, tag, PACER, basketball, and football. Further analysis indicated the students mostly preferred traditional team sport activities and those that involved object control skills. The results suggest that o/o elementary students are similar to normal weight peers in their activity preference and WANT to participate in mainstream, traditional team sport and exercise activities. The results also indicate this population’s preference to be treated like normal children vis-à-vis engagement in normal activities. Further investigation ought to delve more deeply into the nuances of preference (e.g., exploring different qualities of team sports), but these results can be useful toward informing the design of o/o intervention.
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