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Partnering and parenting transitions in Australian men and women: associations with changes in weight, domain-specific physical activity and sedentary behaviours

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Tian, J ORCID: 0000-0001-7746-7782, Smith, KJ ORCID: 0000-0003-2793-3460, Cleland, V ORCID: 0000-0001-8358-3237, Gall, S ORCID: 0000-0002-5138-2526, Dwyer, T and Venn, AJ ORCID: 0000-0001-7090-1398 2020 , 'Partnering and parenting transitions in Australian men and women: associations with changes in weight, domain-specific physical activity and sedentary behaviours' , International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol. 17, no. 1 , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.1186/s12966-020-00989-6.

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Abstract

Background: Partnering and parenting are important life-stage transitions often accompanied by changes in social networks, roles and responsibilities. There have been no longitudinal studies examining associations of partnering and parenting with changes in domain-specific physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviours, and our understanding of whether these transitions are associated with weight change is limited. Methods: Two thousand one hundred and twenty-four Australian adults from a national cohort (mean age 31.7 (2.7) years, 47.5% male) completed questionnaires at baseline (2004-06) and follow-up (2009-11), reporting marital and parental status. Weight (kg) was measured at baseline and self-reported at follow-up. PA and sedentary behaviours (sitting and television (TV) viewing) were self-reported in a subset (n = 1221). Linear regression estimated the longitudinal associations of parenting and partnering transitions with PA, sedentary behaviours and weight at follow-up, adjusted for baseline value of the respective outcome variable, age, education, follow-up duration and other life-stage transition. Results: During the 5-year follow-up, 17.3% men and 12.9% women partnered, and 27.3% men and 19.1% women had their first child. Compared to staying not partnered, partnering was associated with an increase in total PA (177.5mins/week, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 18.0 to 337.0) among men and a greater weight gain (2.2 kg, 95% CI 0.6 to 3.7) among women. Compared to remaining child-free, having a first child was associated with greater reductions in total PA (- 123.9mins/week, 95% CI - 248.8 to 1.1) and TV viewing time (- 27.0mins/day, 95% CI - 50.6 to - 3.3) among men. Women who had their first child had greater weight gain (1.4 kg, 95% CI 0.1 to 2.7) but spent less time sitting (- 103.8mins/day, 95% CI - 135.5 to - 72.1) than those remaining child-free. For women, having additional children was associated with less sitting time (- 39.4mins/week, 95% CI - 66.0 to - 12.8) than having the same number of children. Conclusions: Partnering was associated with an increase in men's total PA and women's weight. Transitions into parenthood with a first child or additional children were associated with potentially health-impairing changes in weight and PA, but health-promoting changes in sedentary behaviours. Future PA promotion strategies should pay attention to men who had their first child to mitigate declining total PA.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Tian, J and Smith, KJ and Cleland, V and Gall, S and Dwyer, T and Venn, AJ
Keywords: weight, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, marriage, parent, young adult
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
ISSN: 1479-5868
DOI / ID Number: 10.1186/s12966-020-00989-6
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s). 2020. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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