Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Research Sponsor

Dr. Mary MacCracken

First Reader

Rachele Kappler

Second Reader

Stacy Buser


Obesity has become one of the leading public health issues in the world today. An aspect of this issue that must be addressed in order for it to not persist as a problem in the future is the issue of childhood obesity. One of the most common screening methods to determine if a child is classified as overweight or obese is to utilize anthropometric measurements like body mass index, and waist-to-height ratios. Past studies have shown that children who are categorized as overweight or obese can struggle with physical activity and typically have lower fitness levels as their anthropometric measurements increase. Ratings of perceived exertion have been shown to be able to be used to estimate aerobic fitness via vo2 max and anaerobic fitness by estimating 1 rep maximums. PURPOSE: To determine if RPE ratings of children would have a significant relationship with their weight categories, as classified by their BMI percentiles or waist-to-height ratios. METHODS: Data was obtained from a group of 33 subjects, ages four to seventeen, from the Proyecto Raices program. RPE ratings were recorded using an OMNI step scale at two different sites. BMI percentiles and weight categories were found after recording the subjects' heights and weights, calculating BMI, and then using the CDC data tables of BMI per birth date in months and sex. Waist-to-height ratios and weight categories were determined by first calculating the ratios after recording the participant's heights and waist circumferences, and the classifying them using the criteria of a previous study. RESULTS: No significant relationships were found between the RPE ratings of the participants and their anthropometric measurements of weight classifications, with the exception of the female participants having a significant relationship between their RPE ratings at site 2 and their waist-to-height ratios. CONCLUSION: It may be possible to further this research with more strict exercise protocols and a larger sample size, but the accuracy and practicality of anthropometric measurements alone should be considered as a first choice to screen children for being overweight or obese.


Special thank you to Dr. Mary MacCraken, Dr. Judith Juvancic-Heltzel, and Dr. Bob Stadulis