Want Your Kids To Exercise More? Easy! Just Exercise More Yourself

“Do as I say, not as I do” has never been a good approach to parenting, and a recent study confirms that. Analysing a group of 242 Australian two-year-olds and their parents showed that parents who were more active had more active children, while parents who spent more “screen time” using TVs and computers similarly had kids with tendencies to “square eyes” behaviour.

Picture by Steve Winton

The study, published today in the Australian & New Zealand Journal Of Public Health, found that only 30 per cent of mothers and 38 per cent of children met National Physical Activity Guideline recommendations. That means almost everyone can improve, but there was a clear correlation between what mothers did and what their offspring did:

For every one hour increase in a mother’s screen time, their child’s screen time would increase by eight minutes per day; and for every one hour increase in a mother’s physical activity time, their child’s play time would increase by 16 minutes per day.

That doesn’t mean no TV and no tablet; it just means making sure you spend time with physical play as well.

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