Associations of Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Primary School Children with Their Parental Behaviors and Supports

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Sep 13;15(9):1995. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091995.


Background: The associations of objectively evaluated moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time between primary school children and their fathers or mothers have not been fully understood. Therefore, we tested the associations in children. Methods: The participants were first to sixth grade boys (n = 166, 9.4 ± 1.6 years) and girls (n = 202, 9.4 ± 1.6 years) and their parents (fathers, n = 123 and mothers, n = 321). MVPA and sedentary time were measured using triaxial accelerometry. The relationship between parental support which was assessed by self-reported questionnaire and children's MVPA was also examined.

Results: MVPA in the children was positively correlated with maternal MVPA after adjustment for the children's gender, grade, body mass index z-score, paternal or maternal age, and school (p < 0.001). However, paternal or maternal sedentary time and paternal MVPA showed no significant association with sedentary time or MVPA in children. On the other hand, the percentage of MVPA in children who spent more time with their mothers on weekends was significantly lower than those who spent less time (p = 0.034). Children whose mothers watched their sports events had a significantly higher percentage of MVPA than those whose mothers did not watch these events (p = 0.008). There were no associations between children's MVPA and paternal support.

Conclusions: The findings of this study demonstrate the significance of maternal MVPA and support.

Keywords: accelerometer; exercise; moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; parental supports; sports.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parenting*
  • Parents
  • Schools
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Self Report
  • Sports*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires