Child's activity level linked to mom's

Published On: Mar 24 2014 11:31:09 AM EDT

If you're a mom and have ever wondered if your kids are active enough, you may want to look in the mirror. A new British study finds that a preschooler's activity level is typically reflective of their mother's activity level.

"We've seen this information from prior studies in older children. It just helps to reaffirm those findings and to show that it is true in the younger ages as well as the older-aged children," explained Dr. Kim Giuliano, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's.

Giuliano, who did not take part in this study, says University of Cambridge researchers measured the activity levels of nearly 600 4-year-olds and their mothers. They found over a week's time that most moms engaged in about the same amount of sedentary and light physical activity each day.

Results also show only 53 percent of the women met the recommended 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on one or more days. Researchers say since mother and child activity levels are closely linked, encouraging moms to be active with their children may result in increased activity for both.

"Moms are serving as good role models for their children, so when they think exercise and physical activity is important their children are more likely to think that it's important," said Giuliano.

Complete findings are available online in the journal Pediatrics.

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