Daughters and mothers exercising together: effects of home- and community-based programs

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Feb;35(2):286-96. doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000048836.67270.1F.


Purpose: This pilot study compares the effectiveness of home- and community-based physical activity interventions that target mothers and daughters to increase physical activity and improve health-related fitness.

Methods: Mothers (45.18 +/- 7.49 yr) and daughters (15.41 +/- 1.33 yr) were randomly assigned to a community-based (CB) (N = 20 participants) or home-based (HB) (N = 14 participants) program. CB participants attended three instructor-led sessions per week for 12 wk. HB participants were asked to participate in 3 sessions per week for 12 wk in a program similar to the CB program. The main difference between the programs was that CB activities were completed at a fitness facility within a university and HB activities were completed in or near the home. Before and after the intervention, changes in health-related fitness and physical activity were assessed. A series of 2 (group assignment) x 2 (time) ANOVAs were conducted to assess changes separately for mothers and daughters.

Results: CB participants attended 77% of the sessions, and none of the pairs dropped out. HB participants completed 70% of the recommended sessions, and three pairs dropped out. Mothers and daughters in both groups significantly increased their participation in aerobic, muscular strength, and flexibility activities (P = 0.02 to 0.000). Daughters in both groups significantly improved their muscular endurance (sit-ups,P = 0.000). Mothers in both groups improved their muscular strength (push-ups, P = 0.003), muscular endurance (sit-ups, P = 0.000), flexibility (sit-and-reach, P = 0.008), and aerobic capacity (1-mile walk, P = 0.002). Positive changes in diastolic blood pressure also occurred (P = 0.008).

Conclusion: Mothers and daughters responded positively to CB and HB physical activity programs. Home-based physical activity programming is a cost-effective means to increase physical activity and improve health-related fitness in these groups.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Community Health Services
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Weight Lifting