NPR | When mothers get moving, children are more active, too


Mothers of young children may feel like they don’t have much time to exercise, but the more active the moms are, the more active the children. The activity level of young children is directly linked to that of their mothers, researchers in the United Kingdom say. But the problem is that mothers with young children aren’t very active, says Esther van Sluijs, a behavioral epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge and the study’s lead author. When researchers used accelerometers to track the physical activity of 554 mothers and their 4-year-olds, the mothers on average spent only 19 minutes of their waking hours each day doing moderate to vigorous activity. Only half were active for at least 30 minutes on one or more days each week. The children were more active, with many getting eight hours of light and moderate activity daily. But even then, the preschoolers got only about an hour a day of running and vigorous play. Mothers’ increased physical activity boosted children’s moderate and vigorous activity overall, according to results published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Continue.