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Parental exercise is associated with Australian children's extracurricular sports participation and cardiorespiratory fitness: A cross-sectional study

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Cleland, VJ and Venn, AJ and Fryer, JL and Dwyer, T and Blizzard, CL (2005) Parental exercise is associated with Australian children's extracurricular sports participation and cardiorespiratory fitness: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2 (3).

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Abstract

Background: The relationship between parental physical activity and children's physical activity
and cardiorespiratory fitness has not been well studied in the Australian context. Given the
increasing focus on physical activity and childhood obesity, it is important to understand correlates
of children's physical activity. This study aimed to investigate whether parental exercise was
associated with children's extracurricular sports participation and cardiorespiratory fitness.
Methods: The data were drawn from a nationally representative sample (n = 8,484) of 7–15 year
old Australian schoolchildren, surveyed as part of the Australian Schools Health and Fitness Survey
in 1985. A subset of 5,929 children aged 9–15 years reported their participation in extracurricular
sports and their parents' exercise. Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using the 1.6 km (1-
mile) run/walk and in addition for children aged 9, 12 or 15 years, using a physical work capacity
test (PWC170).
Results: While the magnitude of the differences were small, parental exercise was positively
associated with children's extracurricular sports participation (p < 0.001), 1.6 km run/walk time (p
< 0.001) and, in girls only, PWC170 (p = 0.013). In most instances, when only one parent was active,
the sex of that parent was not an independent predictor of the child's extracurricular sports
participation and cardiorespiratory fitness.
Conclusion: Parental exercise may influence their children's participation in extracurricular sports
and their cardiorespiratory fitness levels. Understanding the correlates of children's extracurricular
sport participation is important for the targeting of health promotion and public health
interventions, and may influence children's future health status.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: CDAH, Menzies Research Institute
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-2-3
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2008 22:43
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:30
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