Instructor-led versus Video-led Exercise: A Comparison of Intensity in Obese Youth

Amanda Gier, Nicholas M. Edwards, Philip R. Khoury, Shelley Kirk, Christopher Kist, Robert Siegel


Background: Exercise is a key component in treating childhood obesity. Group exercise sessions with a trained instructor are ideal, but most treatment programs cannot offer these often enough to meet physical activity guidelines. At-home options that provide a similar-intensity workout are needed. Objective: To determine if exercise videos are a feasible at-home option for obese youth to meet recommended physical activity guidelines for moderate-to-vigorous exercise. Methods: Obese youth attended a summer camp focused on weight management. Subjects wore accelerometers to assess physical activity levels at camp. During camp, all subjects completed four exercise activities: three separate exercise sessions led by exercise physiologists (EP), as well as an exercise video (EV). Each exercise session utilized a different format: high intensity interval training (HIIT), group games (GG) and yoga. The EV, created by the same EP, included aerobic exercise and yoga. Data was analyzed to determine intensity associated with each exercise session. Results: Data was obtained from 16 (50%) accelerometers (9 girls, 7 boys). There was no difference in sedentary (SED) minutes per hour between activities. HIIT and GG had more moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) than yoga (p<0.0001 and p=0.01) and EV (p<0.0001 and p=0.01). There was no difference in MVPA between HIIT and GG. Conclusions: Obese children exercised at higher intensities during instructor-led HIIT and GG exercise sessions than yoga or EV sessions.


Obesity, Pediatric Obesity, Overweight, Exercise, Instructional Films and Videos

Full Text:



Chen, J.L., & Wilkosz, M.E. (2014). Efficacy of technology-based interventions for obesity prevention in adolescents: a systematic review. Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 5, 159-170.

Common Sense Media. (2015). The Common Sense census: media use by tweens and teens. Retrieved from

Daniels, S.R., & Kelly, A.S. (2014). Pediatric severe obesity: time to establish serious treatments for a serious disease. Childhood Obesity, 10(4), 283-284.

Dietz, W.H. (1998). Health consequences of obesity in youth: childhood predictors of adult disease. Pediatrics, 101(3 pt 2), 518-525.

Edwards, N.M., Myer,G.D., Kalkwarf, H.J., Woo, J.G., Khoury, P.R., Hewett, T.E., & Daniels, S.R.. (2015). Outdoor temperature, precipitation, and wind speed affect physical activity levels in children: a longitudinal cohort study. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 12(8):1074-81.

Erwin, H., Koufoudakis, R., & Beighle, A. (2013). Children’s physical activity levels during indoor recess dance videos. Journal of School Health, 83(5), 322-327.

Gao, Z., & Chen, S. (2014). Are field-based exergames useful in preventing childhood obesity? A systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 15(8), 676-691.

Gier, A., Edwards, N.M., Jimenez-Vega, J., Kist, C., Khoury, P.R., Siegel, R., & Kirk, S. (2014). Physical activity: intensity and associated energy expenditure during a youth weight management camp. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 46(5S), 227.

Gier, A., Edwards, N.M., Khoury, P.R., Kirk, S., Kist, C., & Siegel, R. (2015). Instructor-led vs. video-led group exercise: comparison of intensity in obese youth. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 47(5S), 385.

Gothe, N.P., Wójcicki, T.R., Olson, E.A., Fanning, J., Awick, E., Chung, H.D.,…McAuley, E. (2015). Physical activity levels and patterns in older adults: the influence of a DVD-based exercise program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38, 91-97.

Kelly, A.S., Barlow, S.E., Rao, G., Inge, T.H., Hayman, L.L., Steinberger, J.,…Daniels, S.R. (2013). Severe obesity in children and adolescents: identification, associated health risks, and treatment approaches. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 128(15), 1689-1712.

Killen, L.G., Barry, V.W., Cooper, C., & Coons, J.M. (2014). Live vs. digital video disk exercise in college-aged

females. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28(12), 3393-3398.

Kist, C., Gier, A., Tucker, J., Barbieri, T.F., Johnson-Branch, S., Moore, L.,…Coleman, N. (2016). Physical activity in clinical pediatric weight management programs: current practices and recommendations. Clinical Pediatrics, 55(13), 1219-1229.

Kottyan, G., Kottyan, L., Edwards, N.M., & Unaka, N.I. (2014 Jun). Assessment of active play, inactivity and perceived barriers in an inner city neighborhood. Journal of Community Health, 39(3):538-44.

Lee, H., Tamminen, K.A., Clark, A.M., Slater, L., Spence, J.C., & Holt, N.L. (2015). A meta-study of qualitative

research examining determinants of children’s independent active free play. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12(5).

Levin, S., Martin, M.W., McKenzie, T.L., & DeLouise, A.C. (2002). Assessment of a pilot video’s effect on

physical activity and heart health for young children. Family and Community Health, 25(3), 10-17.

Lobstein, T., & Jackson-Leach, R. (2016). Planning for the worst: estimates of obesity and comorbidities in school-age children in 2025. Pediatric Obesity, 11(5), 321-325.

Maggio, A.B.R., Martin, X.E., Gasser, C.S., Gal-Duding, C., Beghetti, M., Farpour-Lambert, N.J., & Chamay-Weber, C. (2014). Medical and non-medical complications among children and adolescents with excessive body weight. BMC Pediatrics, 14, 232.

National Physical Activity Plan Alliance. (2016). 2016 US report card on physical activity for children and youth. Retrieved from

Ogden, C.L., Carroll, M.D., Lawman, H.G., Fryar, C.D., Kruszon-Moran, D., Kit, B.K., & Flegal, K.M. (2016). Trends in obesity prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States, 1988-1994 through 2013-2014. Journal of the American Medical Association, 315(21), 2292-2299.

Ogden, C.L., Carroll, M.D., Kit, B.K., & Flegal, K.M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association, 311(8), 806-814.

Peng, W., Lin, J.H., & Crouse, J. (2011). Is playing exergames really exercising? A meta-analysis of energy expenditure in active video games. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(11), 681-688.

Quelly, S.B., Norris, A.E., & DiPietro, J.L. (2015). Impact of mobile apps to combat obesity in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 21(1), 5-17.

Reilly, J.J., & Kelly, J. (2011). Long-term impact of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence on morbidity and premature mortality in adulthood: systematic review. International Journal of Obesity, 35(7), 891-898.

Skinner, A.C., Perrin, E.M., & Skelton, J.A. (2016). Prevalence of obesity and severe obesity in US children, 1999-2014. Obesity, 24(5), 1116-1123.

Tuominen, P.P.A., Husu, P., Raitanen, J., Kujala, U.M., & Luoto, R.M. (2017). The effect of a movement-to-music video program on the objectively measured sedentary time and physical activity of preschool-aged children and their mothers: a randomized controlled trial. PLOS One, 12(8), e0183317.

Tuominen, P.P.A., Husu, P., Raitanen, J., & Luoto, R.M. (2016). Differences in sedentary time and physical activity among mothers and children using a movement-to-music video program in the home environment: a pilot study.

SpringerPlus, 5(93). doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-1701-z.

US Department of Health and Human Services. (2008). Active Children and Adolescents. In 2008 Physical activity

guidelines for Americans; ODPHP Publication No. U0036 (Chapter 3). Retrieved from



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.