Active parents have active kids: Study

November 23rd, 2007 - 12:59 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 23 (ANI): Active parents make for active children, says a study.

The study, led by Calum Mattocks at the University of Bristol, UK, stated that helping parents to increase their own physical activity could influence children to exercise more and thereby avoid obesity.

In the study, the researchers reviewed data collected in 1991 in which over 5400 children, aged 11 years, were examined.

At the start of the study in 1991, researchers gave parents questionnaires that asked, among other things, how often they exercised.

Then, a few years ago, scientists asked the children, aged 11 to 12 years old, to wear devices known as accelerometers for as much time as possible over a seven-day period.

Accelerometers can keep a running tab of how frequently and intensely a person moves.

The recordings from the accelerometers indicated that the children who engaged in the least amount of activity burned a minimum of 1500 calories on average over per day, compared with their most active counterparts who used up about 2700 calories during the same period.

Then later the scientists looked back on the data collected when the youngsters were toddlers.

From the data, the analysis found that the children whose parents exercised at least twice a week grew up to be slightly more active, engaging in 5 percent more physical activity, than those youngsters whose parents never exercised.

The analysis revealed that the children showed greater physical activity than their peers if their parents had a history of hitting the gym at least twice a week.

This is the largest study of its type that has used an objective measure of activity to assess the impact of parents habits on their childrens inclination to exercise, New Scientist quoted Mattocks, as saying.

Mattocks contemplates that other factors, such as physical education programmes in school, might exert a larger influence on how much adolescents exercise. (ANI)

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