Digital Public Defence: Turid Kristin Bigum Sundar

Cand. polit. Turid Kristin Bigum Sundar at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis Young & Overweight - adolescents' experiences from an internet-based intervention to promote physical activity and quality of life. for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Dan-Erlend Sundar.

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor John Roger Andersen, Høgskulen på Vestlandet
  • Second opponent: Associate Professor Christina Louise Lindhardt, Syddansk universitet, Danmark
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Anne Marit Mengshoel, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Anners Lerdal, University of Oslo 

Principal Supervisor

 Sølvi Helseth, Vice-dean, Professor, Oslomet


The aim of Young & Overweight was to gain in-depth knowledge about adolescents with overweight, and their experiences with participation in a 12-week internet-based intervention to increase physical activity, improve physical fitness and health-related quality of life. Further, the study sought to investigate their views on physical activity, and everyday lives.

Individual interviews were conducted with a sample of participants from the intervention. Health-related quality of life on the intervention sample was measured by the KIDSCREEN 52 questionnaire and compared with a Norwegian reference population. The data were analyzed separately, using mixed methods.

The qualitative data showed that the youths associated physical activity with organized sports, and as means to develop attractive bodies and good health. The majority viewed their health as poorer than others and expressed worries about future health. Mastering sports, exercising together with friends, and having fun enhanced motivation to continue, while not mastering or not knowing the others rendered them less motivated. Whether they continued with sports after the intervention seemed to be related to the type of support they had.

Regarding the KIDSCREEN data, the adolescents retained a lower score on physical well-being compared to the reference population, both pre and post intervention. No statistically significant differences were found on the other sub-scales. The interview data nuanced the findings, showing variations in energy level and health as important for their well-being.

The results suggest that an internet-based intervention can be feasible for some adolescents in promoting physical activity and quality of life. However, the ability to increase and sustain physical activity and quality of life was influenced by individual and social conditions. Our findings indicate that such interventions should not be offered indiscriminately, nor without face-to-face contact with health personnel.

Additional information

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Published Apr. 6, 2021 12:39 PM - Last modified Apr. 21, 2021 9:55 AM