As part of the UK Southampton Women’s Survey, researchers measured the activity levels of 554 4-year-olds and their mothers for up to seven days.
A study published in the April 2014 issue of Pediatrics, “Activity Levels in Mothers and Their Preschool Children,” (published online March 24) found that child and maternal activity levels are directly associated, with more active mothers having more active children.
Maternal activity levels differed depending on her level of education, number of children and by weekly working hours. On average, mothers engaged in about the same amounts of sedentary and light physical activity each day, with only 53 percent of mothers meeting the recommended 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on one or more days. Light physical activity was more likely to occur on weekends.
The authors conclude that since mother and child activity levels are closely associated, providing targeted interventions to increase maternal activity levels and encouraging them to be active with their children may result in increased activity for both.