Mar 24, 2014 10:35 AM EDT
Mothers With High Activity Levels Are More Likely To Have Active Children
The amount of physical activity a mother gets may determine how active their children's activity levels, according to a recent study Reuters reported.
Researchers from the Institute of Child Health at University College found that more active mothers tended to have more active children. However, the association depended on certain lifestyle factors.
Physical activity are tied to healthy development in kids, but they are known to fall as people get older - especially after they have children, Reuters reported.
"It's a positive thing that maternal physical activity levels can influence the activity level of their child," Kathryn Hesketh, the study's lead author, told Reuters "If more time is spent moving, then activity can increase in both."
For the study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers used data from 554 four-year-old children and their mothers who were part of the UK Southampton Women's Survey. Both kids and mothers wore devices that tracked their movements for 14 to 15 waking hours for about a week, Reuters reported.
Among children, five of those hours were spent sitting or standing still, eight hours were spent on light physical activity such as walking, and about another hour was spent on moderate-to-vigorous activity like running.
Researchers found that among mothers, about an hour was spent standing or sitting still while "seven hours each were spent on light and moderate-to-vigorous activity, Reuters reported.
Based on their findings, more active mothers tended to have more active children. However, the strength of the association varied depending on the child's weight, time spent at school and the mother's education.
Previous studies examining the link between mother and child physical activity levels have produced inconsistent results.
According to Reuters, Hesketh said she believes that understanding the factors that influence the relationship between more and child physical activity may help researchers develop programs to increase activity overall.
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