Tags: child | exercise | parent | activity

Children Mirror Parents’ Activity Levels

Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:38 AM

Practice what you preach. That’s the latest word from researchers who found the best way for parents to increase their children’s exercise levels is to set an example themselves by boosting their own physical activity.
The new study, by National Jewish Health hospital investigators, found children of parents who started daily workout routines, measured by a pedometer, tended to exercise more as well – particularly on Saturdays and Sundays.
"It has long been known that parent and child activity levels are correlated," said Dr. Kristen Holm, who helped lead the study, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. "This is the first intervention-based study to prospectively demonstrate that when parents increase their activity, children increase theirs as well."
For the study, Holm and her colleagues recruited 83 families to participate in a family-based program designed to prevent excess weight gain among overweight and obese children ages 7 to 14. Children and parents were encouraged to walk an additional 2,000 steps per day. Mothers in all of the families participated; 34 fathers participated.
Researchers found that on days when mothers reached or exceeded their 2000-step goal, children took an average of 2,117 extra steps, compared to 1,175 steps when mothers did not reach their goal. Father-child activity showed a similar pattern. Overall, for each 1,000 additional steps a mother took, the child took 196 additional steps.
Researchers noted the effect was most pronounced on weekends, perhaps because parents and children exercised together more frequently on Saturdays and Sundays.

© HealthDay

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The best way for parents to increase their children’s exercise levels is to set a good example themselves.
Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:38 AM
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