Daily Mail

Mothers ‘are not doing enough exercise’

- Daily Mail Reporter

LESS than half of mothers do enough exercise, scientists said yesterday.

Those with children aged four and under put in under 20 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a day.

Mothers with multiple children were not as active than those with one offspring.

Based on the findings, the researcher­s said efforts should be made to help mothers take part in high-intensity physical activity.

‘There are clear benefits, both short term and long term, from doing more physical activity, particular­ly if it increases your heart rate,’ said Rachel Simpson, of the Medical Research Council’s epidemiolo­gy unit at the University of Cambridge. ‘But the demands of being a mother can make it hard to find the time. We need to consider ways not only to encourage mums, but to make it as easy as possible for busy mums, especially those with younger children, to increase the amount of higher intensity physical activity they do.’

Researcher­s at the universiti­es of Cambridge and Southampto­n analysed data from 848 women, aged between 20 and 32.

They were given accelerome­ters to assess their levels of activity. Women with schoolaged children did around 26 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, while those with children aged four years or under managed around 18 minutes a day.

Mothers with more than one child managed only around 21 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

Professor Keith Godfrey, from the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiolo­gy Centre and the NIHR Southampto­n Biomedical Research Centre, said: ‘More needs to be done by local government planners and leisure facility providers to support mothers in engaging in physical activity.’

The findings are in the journal Plos One.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom