Study: Activity level of young children may be directly linked to that of their mothers

The NPR “Shots” blog reports that research published in Pediatrics suggests that “the activity level of young children is directly linked to that of their mothers.”

AFP reports that investigators “analyzed the physical activity levels of 554 mothers and preschoolers, using activity monitors that were attached to participants and worn continuously to ensure accurate data.” Participants “were monitored all day for up to seven days.” The investigators “found that how active the mother was each day was closely linked to the activity level of the child.”

The study shows that children aren’t “just naturally active” and take cues from their parents in regards to physical activity and other measures that make up a healthy lifestyle.

On its website, CBS News reports that altogether, the investigators saw “a direct correlation in physical activity levels among mothers and their children.”

Children “engaged in more physical activity if their mother made exercise a higher priority.”

But, the researchers found that just “53 percent of the mothers enrolled in the study actually met the recommended daily exercise requirement, which is a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-to-rigorous physical activity each day.”

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