Parental Age Influences Children's Physical Activity Habits

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Poster Area 1 (Foyer Outside Exhibit Hall C) (Convention Center)
Yvette M. Bolen1, Bruce R. Thomas1, Benjamin Heatherly2 and Stacy L. Meredith3, (1)Athens State University, Athens, AL, (2)Brookhill Elementary School, Athens, AL, (3)Monrovia Elementary School, Huntsville, AL

Background/Purpose Studies show parents influence children's dietary choices and physical activity (PA) participation. When parents are active, children are likely to follow suit and encouragement promotes children being active (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2010). Limited research exists linking parental age (P-age) to children's PA habits. The purpose of the study was to investigate the connection between (P-age) and children's choice of PA and the amount of time children are engaged in PA.


Parents(n=127), grouped into age categories, were asked to indicate by survey the number of minutes per day their child participated either in sedentary activities such as watching television, playing video games and playing on the computer or physically demanding activities including bike riding or organized sports participation.


A one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was utilized to determine differences that exist between P-Age and the amount of time their child engages in various activities. The results from the ANOVA revealed significance was not detected when considering P-age and weekend sedentary activity time F(4,122)=.962, p>.05, however P-age had a significant impact on the amount of weekday time a child devotes to sedentary activities F(4,122)=2.975, p<.05, and weekday time a child devotes to physically demanding activities, F(4,122)=3.958, p<.05, and weekend time a child devotes to physically demanding activities, F(4,122)=6.625, p<.05.


Parents ages 35-45 showed the most influence on children's PA. The entire nation faces an obesity epidemic. It is recommended parents of all ages receive the education needed so they are equipped to assist in this health crisis.

  • Dr. Yvette Bolen - 2012 AAHPERD Convention.pdf (531.5 kB)