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Mother’s Physical Activity Level Directly Influences Child’s

Children’s behavior generally mimics their parents’. Are we now seeing more obese children because children are mimicking their parent’s sedentary lifestyles?…

Previous studies have evaluated children’s brains to help find cures for many childhood diseases. One researcher tried to pinpoint the area of the brain that is responsible for seizures and he end up finding a lot more than he bargained for. Dr. Chugani found the area of the brain that metabolizes the most glucose which means that it was the most active part of the brain. He also found that by the age of four, a child’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s.

The Southampton Women’s study examined the physical activity levels of 554 women and their four-year children. The study was measured concurrently using accelerometry for less than seven days; linear regression was used to correlate maternal activity. The study evaluated the association between maternal and children’s time spent sedentary, and in light to moderate/vigorous physical activity. One objective of this study was to identify factors associated with maternal activity levels.

The results of this study showed a direct association between physical activities in mothers and their four year old children. The association for sedentary time was very strong among mothers and normal-weight children when compared with overweight and obese children. There was also a strong association for sedentary time in children attending preschool part-time as opposed to attending preschool full-time. A third association was that there is a strong association of sedentary time occurring on the weekends versus during the week.

In conclusion, this study evaluated the association between maternal physical activity and preschooler’s physical activity. This study hoped to warn educators to have targeted interventions with the preschooler’s mothers; the intervention may lead to increased physical activity in both the mother and child.

Practice Pearls:
  • Educating women during pregnancy can help in reducing body fat and prepare them for teaching their toddlers how to be more physical activity
  • Physical activity not only prevents diseases but it also increases the brain’s oxygen supply which helps improve memory.
  • The results of this study showed a direct association between physical activities in mothers and their four year old children.

Hesketh K, Goodfellow L, Ekelund U, et. al. Activity Levels in Mothers and Their Preschool Children. Pediatrics. 2014 Mar 24. Doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3153.