The effect of peer influence on the amount of physical activity performed in 8- to 12-year-old boys

Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2011 Feb;23(1):49-60. doi: 10.1123/pes.23.1.49.


The purpose of this study was to determine the amount of physical and sedentary activity normal-weight and at-risk-for/overweight boys perform when alone, with a peer of similar weight and with a peer of different weight. Participants included boys, ages 8-12 years, classified as either normal-weight (<85th BMI percentile; N = 12) or at-risk-for/overweight (<85th BMI percentile; N = 12). At-risk-for/ overweight boys allocated a greater amount of time to sedentary activities and accumulated fewer accelerometer counts than normal-weight boys in the alone condition. Once paired with a peer of either similar or different weight there were no differences between groups. These results indicate the presence of an unknown peer has a positive effect on at-risk-for/overweight children's physical activity behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Peer Group*
  • Perception
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior