Sunday, 28 April 2013

Parental Influence on Child Physical Activity

I read an article (reference at bottom of post) recently on how parents levels of physical activity impact on their children's physical activity involvement. This got me thinking about the role of parents in promoting physical activity in children, and as true with many things in life, children look to their parents as the major influence for their own behaviour.

There are many interventions implemented in schools and preschools focusing on improving the physical activity levels of children. But without parental support it would be very unrealistic to assume that physical activity levels will stay elevated outside the school environment. So therefore perhaps education interventions should focus more on parents lifestyle changes and the changes that parents implement into their lives would than be filtered down to make changes to the child.

It has been proven that parents particularly mothers who are physically active at least once per week and have a healthy diet, have children who participate in a greater amount of organised physical activity, a greater amount of unorganised physical activity, eat a healthier diet and in general lead a healthier lifestyle compared to children of inactive parents. Physical active parents are also more likely to engage in whole family activities such as a family game of soccer.

There are many interventions to promote physical activity in both adults and child and at the end of the day everyone shares the same common goal of increasing childhood activity.

Lee, S. A., Nihiser, A., Strouse, D., Das, B., Michael, S. & Huhman, M. (2010). Correlates of children and parents being physically active together. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 7(6):776-784.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Emma. I called by to say hello and to say thanks for the posts.