Recent research has established factors that have a bearing on the health status of children. These include environmental and parental influence. Researchers David Wachob and Robert Alman think that since there has been a large increase of the number of home-educated children in the United States then “… it is imperative to begin investigating the impact that this unique environment has on the children’s health” (p. 2).
They inspected the cardiovascular health and body composition of homeschooling children to learn the impact that the parent-teacher has on these health indicators. The variables they considered include the children’s aerobic capacity (VO2 levels), Body Mass Index (BMI), and body fat percentage. Then the children’s results were then compared to their parent-teacher’s estimated VO2 levels, Body Mass Index (BMI), and body fat percentage. The investigators sample involved “… 14 homeschooling families from western Pennsylvania, including 30 children ages 8-16 years, and each of the 14 family’s parent-teacher; which in this case were all mothers of the children. All participants were eligible to participate in the study because the children are educated in the home and the primary caregiver is the teacher. The majority of children participants were females (53.3%) and in the 10-11 (36.4%) age group” (p. 2-3). Children’s fitness levels were determined by a test that “… requires children to run a series of 20-meter laps to a timed cadence with the speed increasing each minute until the child cannot complete the lap in the designated time” (p. 3). Parents’ fitness levels were established by use of a single-stage treadmill walking test to measure their aerobic capacity. “Body composition was determined by calculating height and weight ratios for both the parent and child participants, being reported as body mass index (BMI)” and body composition was also established by measuring body fat percentage of both the parent and child participants using a hand-held bioelectrical impedance method (BIA) (p. 3).
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