It has always been thought that leading by example was the best way for mums to encourage positive, healthy behaviour. New research from Cambridge and Southampton universities proves this to be true. Their recent study has revealed that there is a direct, positive association between physical activity in children and their mothers.
The study monitored 554 four year olds and their mothers for up to a week. It was found that for every minute of moderate-to-vigorous activity a mother engaged in, her child was more likely to engage in 10% more of the same level of activity. So if a mother was active an hour more each day, her child may spend ten extra minutes being more active.
While this might not sound like much for a day, it would add up over the course of a month or year. By boosting their activity, mums have a chance to influence their child’s perception on healthy activities in the future. If being active is seen as the norm, children will engage more because it is what they have always done.
Increasing activities does not have to feel like a burden to have an impact. Dr Ann Hoskins, director of children, young people and families at Public Health England, said ‘Active play is an important way to develop coordination and motor function skills in the pre-school early years and there are lots of activities like parent and toddler swims, buggy fit and baby gym which provide opportunities for mums to socialise, be active and support their child’s development.’
You can even encourage more activity by just getting out of the house more for walks and outdoor play. All it takes is a little motivation from Mum to make an impact on a child’s overall health outlook.
Would you like to find out more about creating a healthy, active lifestyle with your family? Contact us today to find out more.