What About the Health of My Child While in a Wilderness Program?

Part 3 in a series. Click here to read Part 2.

Will my Child be Healthy While in a Wilderness Program?

A major concern with wilderness therapy programming is balancing a healthy diet with the appropriate level of physical activity. Through research using body mass index (BMI) and body composition data RedCliff has been able to find a healthy balance of diet and exercise based off a student’s individual physical needs.

Using 10 years of BMI and body composition data on over 2000 participants RedCliff has been able to show that a health balance of diet and exercise can occur. RedCliff has found that:

  • Students at RedCliff Ascent move towards a healthy BMI and body composition, regardless of their initial BMI and body composition.
  • Underweight participants on average gain weight.
    • Males gain 7 lbs.
    • Females gain 9.4 lbs.
  • Participants within the normal range of BMI stay about the same.
    • Males lose .7 lbs.
    • Females gain 2.6 lbs.
  • Overweight participants lose weight on average.
    • Males lose 12.5 lbs.
    • Females lose 7 lbs.
  • Obese participants on average lose weight.
    • Males lose 37.7 lbs.
    • Females lose 30 lbs.
  • On average kids in wilderness therapy lose fat mass while gaining lean or muscle mass.

Wilderness healthy weight BMI

Male weight BMI chart

Female weight wilderness BMI

Continue to Part 4 of the Research Series: Constantly Improving our Wilderness Program.

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