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  1. The Role of Family in Promoting Physical Activity Micah Kohlwey & Blake Vajgrt

  2. What is a family? • Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a family as “a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation” • Families can take various shapes and formats, but the most important aspects about them is that members support each other • In American society, family are usually the most important educational unit

  3. Physical Activity in America’s Youth • Fewer than 49% of boys and 35% of girls ages six to eleven do not meet the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day • 1/3 of American youths are overweight or obese

  4. What is Causing the Decline in Physical Activity? • Less access to physical activity in schools • Poor neighborhood planning and violence • Decline in recreational sports programs • Economic opportunity for child to be in organized programs

  5. Family Based Physical Activity Promotion • What is one way to bring physical activity to children? • Family support of physical activity may be one of the most cost effective and successful ways to get kids active

  6. Influence of Families • Parents are extremely important in determining the physical activity levels of children • Children of two parents who are active were 5.8 times more likely to be active than children with two sedentary parents (Moore, et al. 1991) • Children with siblings were more likely to be active that children without siblings

  7. Support Rather Than Modeling • Parental support for physical activity may be just as important than parental participation in physical activity • Support through compliments, positive reinforcement, and ensuring enjoyment of an activity are all ways parents can promote physical activity

  8. Approaches to Family Based Promotion • Shared and Goal-Directed Programs • Family Supported Active Transport • Parental Advocacy for Programs • Integrated and Multilevel Approaches

  9. Shared and Goal Oriented Programs • This approach involves all members of a family working together to increase physical activity levels • Examples include a family setting a step count goal for each member for a day, or taking time each week to take walks, etc.

  10. Family Supported Active Transport • Although recent urban developments and current city planning has made it difficult for active transport, family can and should make promote it • Active transport is a way to get more physical activity into every family member’s life

  11. Parental Advocacy for Programs • Parents play a role in placing children in programs that provide them with opportunities for physical activity • After school programs and organized youth sports programs provide children for opportunities for physical activity and can be supported by parents

  12. Integrated and Multilevel Approach • Integrated and multilevel approaches utilizes churches and schools to provide physical activity opportunities to families in all neighborhoods • Parents who support these types of programs can help reduce the cost issue of organized programs and lead to greater life style changes

  13. The So What For You? • Hopefully we will all be parents some day • It is essential we know that family based approached to physical activity are easier and cheap (even free!) • It is important as a parent to support physical activity in children through both words and actions • Remember to make physical activity important for you future family!

  14. The Challenge to You! •

  15. References Brockman, Rowan. ""Get off the sofa and go and play": Family and socioeconomic." (2009) BMC Public Health. Retrieved from Brustad, Robert J. "The Role of Family in Promoting Physical Activity." (March, 2010) BMC Public Health. Retrieved from Craig, Cora L. "Relationship between parent and child pedometer-determined physical activity:." (18 Jan. 2013). BMC Public Health. Retrieved from "Familial Aggregation." Farlex, n.d.. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. <>. Green, J., Waters, E., Haikerwal, A., O'Neill, C., Raman, S., Booth, M., & Gibbons, K. (2003). Social, cultural and environmental influences on child activity and eating in Australian migrant communities. Child: Care, Health & Development. Retrieved from Smith, Ben J. "Parental Influences on Child Physical Activity and Screen Viewing Time: A Population Based Study." (2010) BMC Public Health,. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. Retrieved from

  16. References • Brockman, R., Jago, R., Fox, K., Thompson, J., Cartwright, K., & Page, A. (2009). "Get off the sofa and go and play": Family and socioeconomic influences on the physical activity of 10-11 year old children. BioMed Central Public Health, 253(9), 1-7. • Brustad, R. (2010). The role of family in promoting physical activity. President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, 10(3), 1-8. • Brustad, R. (1996). Attraction to physical activity in urban school children: Parental socialization and gender influences. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 67(3), 316-323. (Brustad, 1996) • Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2013). Family. Springfield: Retrieved from • Horimoto, A., Giolo, S., Oliveira, C., Alvim, R., Soler, J., Andrade, M., & Krieger, J. (2011). Heritability of physical activity traits in brazilianfamiles: the baependi heart study. Biomedical Central Medical Genetrics, 12(155), 1-9. • Kitzman-Ulrich, H., Wilson, D., St. George, S., Lawman, H., Segal, M., & Fairchild, A. (2010). The integration of a family systems approach for understanding youth obesity, physical activity, and dietary programs. Clinical Child Family Phsychology Review, 13, 231-253. • Kuo, J., Voorhees, C., Haythornthwaite, J., & Young, D. (2007). Associations between family support, family intimacy, and neighborhood violence and physical activity in urban adolescent girls. American Journal of Public Health, 97(1), 101-103. • Manios, Y., Moschandreas, J., Hatzis, C., & Kafatos, A. (1999). Evaluation of a health and nutrition education program in primary school children of crete over a three year period. Preventative Medicine, 29, 149-159. • Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2013). Family. Springfield: Retrieved from • Moore, L., Lombardi, D., White, M., Campbell, S., Oliveria, S., & Ellison, R. (1991). Influence of physical activity levels on activity levels of young children. Journal of Pediatrics, 118, 215-219. • Ogden, C., Carroll, M., Kit, B., & Flegal, K. (2012). Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among us children and adolescents. Journal of the American Medical Association, 307(5), 483-490. • Owen, C., Nightingale, C., Rudnicka, A., Ekelund, U., McMinn, A., van Sluijs, E., Griffin, S., & Cook, D. (2010). Family dog ownership and levels of physical activity in childhood: Findings from the child heart and health study in England. American Journal of Public Health, 100(9), 1669-1671.