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Spend More Active Time with Children

August 1, 2013

An interesting study attached accelerometers and GPS devices on parents and children in order to record how they spent their time together. The study sought to determine how much active time parents spent with their children vs. passive time. The results were not positive.

On average, parents and children “spent 2.4 (minutes per day) performing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity together and 92.9 (minutes per day) in sedentary behavior together.” Children spent another 10 minutes per day during non-school hours performing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity while the parents only spent an additional 4.6 minutes. This equates to an average of 12.4 minutes of physical activity during non-school hours for children and 7 minutes for their parents.

The relationship between the physical activity of parents and their children has been established in earlier studies. Physically active parents have physically active children. A girl with two active parents is almost four times as likely to be physically active as those without active parents. A boy with physically active parents is almost 9 times more likely to be physically active as those with inactive parents.

When it comes to getting your children to be physically active, there are two things every parent needs to do:

  1. Speak with Your Actions – Exercise regularly and keep yourself fit
  2. Facilitate Physical Activity – drive them to activity-related practice, games and events

It’s part of being a great parent.

Read the Abstract

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