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Parental Knowledge of Physical Activity Recommendations and the Ability to Assess Their Child’s Physical Activity
- Presented on May 30, 2013
Little research exists assessing parent and child physical activity (PA) in relation to parental knowledge of PA recommendations.
Purpose To subjectively and objectively assess parent and child PA and parental knowledge of the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) guidelines for adults and children.
Methods Participants were 20 parent-child pairs (child age 8.9 ± 1.9 y). The ActiGraph GT3X was used to assess PA. Participants were asked to wear the monitor for 7 days. The GT3X was set to 15-s epochs for children and 60-s epochs for adults. Cut points determined by Evenson et al. (children) and Freedson et al. (parents) were used to classify time spent in MVPA. In addition to objectively measured PA, parents self-reported their own PA using the International PA Questionnaire (short form) and their child’s PA using the Children’s PA Questionnaire. Pairwise t-tests and independent samples t-tests were used to determine differences among parent and child average daily MVPA.
Results Parents’ self-reported (50±51 min∙d-1) and objectively measured (38±22 min∙d-1) MVPA were not statistically different (p = 0.255). Parents’ estimates of their children’s MVPA were significantly higher than measured values (161±148 min∙d-1 vs. 46±18 min∙d-1; p = 0.002). In this sample, 50% of parents were knowledgeable of adult PA guidelines and 40% were knowledgeable of child PA guidelines. Children of parents knowledgeable of PA guidelines had similar MVPA levels to children of parents who did not know the guidelines (49±20 min vs. 43±15 min; p= 0.464).
Conclusions Parental assessment of their children’s PA is different from objectively measured values. Future research should explore ways to increase parental knowledge and use of PA guidelines and help parents accurately monitor the PA levels of their children.