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The association between maternal-child physical activity levels at the transition to formal schooling: Cross-sectional and prospective data from the Southampton Women's Survey

The association between maternal-child physical activity levels at the transition to formal schooling: Cross-sectional and prospective data from the Southampton Women's Survey
The association between maternal-child physical activity levels at the transition to formal schooling: Cross-sectional and prospective data from the Southampton Women's Survey
Background: physical activity decreases through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood: parents of young children are particularly inactive, potentially negatively impacting their children’s activity levels. This study aimed to determine the association between objectively measured maternal and 6-year-old children’s physical activity; explore how this association differed by demographic and temporal factors; and identify change during the transition to school (from age 4-6).

Methods: data were from the UK Southampton Women’s Survey. Physical activity of 530 6-year-olds and their mothers was measured concurrently using accelerometry for 7 days. Cross-sectionally, two-level mixed-effects linear regression was used to model the association between maternal-child daily activity behaviour at age 6 [minutes sedentary (SED); in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)]. Interactions with demographic factors and time of the week were tested; how the association differed across the day was also explored. Change in the association between maternal-child physical activity (from age 4-6) was assessed in a subset (n=170) [outcomes: SED, MVPA and light physical activity (LPA)].

Results: mother-child daily activity levels were positively associated (SED: β=0.23 [0.20,0.26] minutes/day; MVPA: 0.53 [0.43,0.64] minutes/day). The association was stronger at weekends (vs. weekdays) (interaction term: SED: βi=0.07 [0.02,0.12]; MVPA: 0.44 [0.24,0.64]). For SED, the association was stronger for those children with older siblings (vs. none); for MVPA, a stronger association was observed for those who had both younger and older siblings (vs. none) and a weaker relationship existed in spring compared to winter. Longitudinally, the association between mother-child activity levels did not change for SED and LPA. At age 6 (vs. age 4) the association between mother-child MVPA was weaker across the whole day (βi: -0.16 [-0.31, -0.01]), but remained similar at both ages between 3-11pm.

Conclusions: more active mothers have more active 6-year-olds; this association was similar for boys and girls but differed by time of week, season and by age of siblings at home. Longitudinally, the association weakened for MVPA between 4-6 years, likely reflecting the differing activities children engage in during school hours and increased independence. Family-based physical activity remains an important element of children’s activity behaviour regardless of age. This could be exploited in interventions to increase physical activity within families.
Children, Mothers, Physical activity, Prospective, Sedentary
1479-5868
Hesketh, Kathryn R.
548af96f-db9e-499d-b2f9-bdd2af55ce5f
Brage, Soren
3705fa6b-2018-4ad6-9143-fa9240ec0fc9
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Godfrey, Keith M.
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
Harvey, Nicholas C.
ce487fb4-d360-4aac-9d17-9466d6cba145
Inskip, Hazel M.
5fb4470a-9379-49b2-a533-9da8e61058b7
Robinson, Sian M.
ba591c98-4380-456a-be8a-c452f992b69b
Van Sluijs, Esther M.F.
5780f1b8-f519-45dd-903f-7a21b9ecad32
Hesketh, Kathryn R.
548af96f-db9e-499d-b2f9-bdd2af55ce5f
Brage, Soren
3705fa6b-2018-4ad6-9143-fa9240ec0fc9
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Godfrey, Keith M.
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
Harvey, Nicholas C.
ce487fb4-d360-4aac-9d17-9466d6cba145
Inskip, Hazel M.
5fb4470a-9379-49b2-a533-9da8e61058b7
Robinson, Sian M.
ba591c98-4380-456a-be8a-c452f992b69b
Van Sluijs, Esther M.F.
5780f1b8-f519-45dd-903f-7a21b9ecad32

Hesketh, Kathryn R., Brage, Soren, Cooper, Cyrus, Godfrey, Keith M., Harvey, Nicholas C., Inskip, Hazel M., Robinson, Sian M. and Van Sluijs, Esther M.F. (2019) The association between maternal-child physical activity levels at the transition to formal schooling: Cross-sectional and prospective data from the Southampton Women's Survey. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 16 (1). (doi:10.1186/s12966-019-0782-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: physical activity decreases through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood: parents of young children are particularly inactive, potentially negatively impacting their children’s activity levels. This study aimed to determine the association between objectively measured maternal and 6-year-old children’s physical activity; explore how this association differed by demographic and temporal factors; and identify change during the transition to school (from age 4-6).

Methods: data were from the UK Southampton Women’s Survey. Physical activity of 530 6-year-olds and their mothers was measured concurrently using accelerometry for 7 days. Cross-sectionally, two-level mixed-effects linear regression was used to model the association between maternal-child daily activity behaviour at age 6 [minutes sedentary (SED); in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)]. Interactions with demographic factors and time of the week were tested; how the association differed across the day was also explored. Change in the association between maternal-child physical activity (from age 4-6) was assessed in a subset (n=170) [outcomes: SED, MVPA and light physical activity (LPA)].

Results: mother-child daily activity levels were positively associated (SED: β=0.23 [0.20,0.26] minutes/day; MVPA: 0.53 [0.43,0.64] minutes/day). The association was stronger at weekends (vs. weekdays) (interaction term: SED: βi=0.07 [0.02,0.12]; MVPA: 0.44 [0.24,0.64]). For SED, the association was stronger for those children with older siblings (vs. none); for MVPA, a stronger association was observed for those who had both younger and older siblings (vs. none) and a weaker relationship existed in spring compared to winter. Longitudinally, the association between mother-child activity levels did not change for SED and LPA. At age 6 (vs. age 4) the association between mother-child MVPA was weaker across the whole day (βi: -0.16 [-0.31, -0.01]), but remained similar at both ages between 3-11pm.

Conclusions: more active mothers have more active 6-year-olds; this association was similar for boys and girls but differed by time of week, season and by age of siblings at home. Longitudinally, the association weakened for MVPA between 4-6 years, likely reflecting the differing activities children engage in during school hours and increased independence. Family-based physical activity remains an important element of children’s activity behaviour regardless of age. This could be exploited in interventions to increase physical activity within families.

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Accepted/In Press date: 1 February 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 February 2019
Keywords: Children, Mothers, Physical activity, Prospective, Sedentary

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428170
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428170
ISSN: 1479-5868
PURE UUID: 5a694332-9205-4c32-bc3f-8d3e8a4aea9c
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709
ORCID for Keith M. Godfrey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4643-0618
ORCID for Nicholas C. Harvey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8194-2512
ORCID for Hazel M. Inskip: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8897-1749
ORCID for Sian M. Robinson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1766-7269

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Date deposited: 13 Feb 2019 17:30
Last modified: 01 May 2019 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Kathryn R. Hesketh
Author: Soren Brage
Author: Cyrus Cooper ORCID iD
Author: Hazel M. Inskip ORCID iD
Author: Sian M. Robinson ORCID iD
Author: Esther M.F. Van Sluijs

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