Riding into health: A case study on an equine-assisted childhood obesity intervention


In this article, we present an exploratory case study that describes the initial outcomes of the Equine-Assisted Positively Fit (EAPF) program. Children with obesity and their caregivers were recruited to participate in the eight-session program. Results indicated that treatment completers (n = 2) had a decrease in fat mass and fat mass percentage and an increase in fat-free mass and fat-free mass percentage. Moreover, results from accelerometer measurements of physical activity indicated that participants increased their moderate to vigorous physical activity, as well as reported increased self-efficacy for physical activity. Qualitative data from the post-intervention focus group suggested children perceived the treatment acceptable and enjoyable. Findings from this study provide support for future investigations on the feasibility and potential efficacy of pairing children and their caregivers with horses to accomplish health-related goals.


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Children, Equine-assisted interventions, Obesity


Schroeder, K., Van, Allen, J., Dhurandhar, E., Lancaster, B., Heidari, Z., Cazenave, K., Boone, D., & Erdman, P.. 2019. Riding into health: A case study on an equine-assisted childhood obesity intervention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(23). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234835