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Advances in Physiotherapy;13 (4)
Physiotherapists have paid great attention to the problems associated with overweight among children and youth. Clinicians have started programs to support the target group in their efforts to become more physically active, thus preventing such problems from arising. The aim of the study has been to investigate the experiences of the participants in these programs. A phenomenological research design was chosen. Fourteen children and youth in one of these programs volunteered as informants. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were interpreted using a multistep thematic analysis model. The participants considered the inclusion of a friend in the group as one of their requirements for participating in the program. Most of the participants enjoyed and coped with the physical activities, although a few disliked some of the ball games. The participants concluded that their endurance had improved and they had become physically stronger. Most of them were also engaged in a variety of activities outside the program. The children and youth asserted that they had benefi ted from participating in this physical activity program, which they experienced as enjoyable. The best long-term result is probably achieved when child, parents, school, voluntary organizations and community collaborate in order to strengthen the physical and social skills of children.
Postprint version of published article. Original available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/14038196.2011.632438