Re­search shows real in­flu­ence of par­ents

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

QUEENS­LAND Health is call­ing on par­ents to boost their kids’ phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els, with new re­search show­ing kids are more likely to be ac­tive when the fam­ily is ac­tive.

Queens­land’s Chief Health Of­fi­cer Dr Jean­nette Young said the re­search sur­veyed par­ents of chil­dren aged five to 17 years, and aimed to un­der­stand where chil­dren play and how of­ten.

“The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion and the Aus­tralian De­part­ment of Health rec­om­mend that chil­dren and ado­les­cents en­gage in at least one hour of mod­er­ate-to-vig­or­ous phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity daily,” she said.

“The re­search found that chil­dren are achiev­ing about 11 hours a week of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity on av­er­age, with about 8 hours oc­cur­ring at school or in their free time.

“We know schools are an ex­cel­lent av­enue for phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity such as lunchtime play and start­ing team sports, and the pro­grams in place are con­tribut­ing well to a child’s ac­can tiv­ity lev­els.

“But it’s also re­ally in­ter­est­ing to see just how much the home en­vi­ron­ment plays a part in a child’s ac­tiv­ity lev­els.

“Free time ac­counted for an av­er­age of 4.4 hours of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity per week, which clearly shows it’s an im­por­tant en­vi­ron­ment where chil­dren can im­prove their phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els.”

Dr Young said par­ents are a very pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on their chil­dren’s phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els.

“With around one quar­ter of Queens­land chil­dren over­weight or obese, we, as par­ents, need to do ev­ery­thing we can to en­sure that num­ber re­duces,” she said.

“The re­search shows that kids are more likely to be ac­tive if their fam­i­lies are ac­tive, which is why we’re call­ing on par­ents to en­cour­age an ac­tive life­style by mod­el­ling one them­selves.

“Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity doesn’t need to be oner­ous, it’s about find­ing what you love and do­ing more of it.

“That could be walk­ing, or kick­ing the footy in the park, or bike rides, or back­yard cricket, or even a bit of a fam­ily dance party – any­thing that gets you and your kids mov­ing.

“We know time can be an is­sue for fam­i­lies when it comes to be­ing ac­tive, so find­ing en­joy­able ways to in­cor­po­rate it into ev­ery­day tasks make all the dif­fer­ence.

“Phys­i­cally ac­tive chil­dren have im­proved car­dio­vas­cu­lar health, mus­cu­loskele­tal strength and pos­i­tive psy­choso­cial ben­e­fits. Sport and ac­tive free play also con­trib­ute to healthy phys­i­cal growth, in­creased con­cen­tra­tion in aca­demic pur­suits and healthy de­vel­op­ment of so­cial skills.

“We know these phys­i­cal and men­tal ben­e­fits con­tinue through­out life, and those who are phys­i­cally ac­tive in child­hood are more likely to carry those habits into adult­hood.

“So the time you in­vest in an ac­tive fam­ily life­style dur­ing child­hood will make a big dif­fer­ence in your child liv­ing a happy and healthy life­style once they leave the nest.”

The ‘Where chil­dren play most’ re­search was re­cenlty pub­lished in the

New re­search has re­vealed that ac­tive par­ents have a pos­i­tive im­pact on their chil­dren’s phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els.

Dr Jean­nette Young.

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