Navigation Links
Parents - not TV - may determine whether kids are active or couch potatoes

CORVALLIS, Ore. Researchers at Oregon State University have confirmed what we knew all along children in this country are increasingly sedentary, spending too much time sitting and looking at electronic screens.

But it's not necessarily because of the newest gee-whiz gadgets parents play a major factor in whether young children are on the move.

In two studies out online today in a special issue of the journal Early Child Development and Care devoted to "Parental Influences of Childhood Obesity," OSU researchers examined how parenting style whether a strict but loving parent or a less-involved and more permissive parent was associated with sedentary behavior.

Overall, they found that children who had "neglectful" parents, or ones who weren't home often and self-reported spending less time with their kids, were getting 30 minutes more screen time on an average each week day.

More disturbing to lead author David Schary all of the children ages 2 to 4 were sitting more than several hours per day.

"Across all parenting styles, we saw anywhere from four to five hours a day of sedentary activity," he said. "This is waking hours not including naps or feeding. Some parents counted quiet play sitting and coloring, working on a puzzle, etc. as a positive activity, but this is an age where movement is essential."

Schary, a doctoral student in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU, said parents were grouped into four commonly used scientific categories authoritarian (high warmth and control), authoritative (controlling, less warm), permissive (warm, low control), and neglectful (low control and warmth).

While all the children in the sample of about 200 families were sitting four to five hours in a typical day, parents in the more neglectful category had children who were spending up to 30 additional minutes a day watching television, playing a video game or being engaged in some other form of "screen time."

"A half an hour each day may not seem like much, but add that up over a week, then a month, and then a year and you have a big impact," Schary said. "One child may be getting up to four hours more active play every week, and this sets the stage for the rest of their life."

Some might wonder whether parents who were less participatory during the week days made up for it during the weekends. Actually, just the opposite happened. Sedentary time increased nearly one hour each weekend day.

Bradley Cardinal, a professor of social psychology of physical activity at OSU, co-authored both papers with Schary. Cardinal said sedentary behavior goes against the natural tendencies of most preschool-age children.

"Toddlers and preschool-age children are spontaneous movers, so it is natural for them to have bursts of activity many minutes per hour," he said. "We find that when kids enter school, their levels of physical activity decrease and overall, it continues to decline throughout their life. Early life movement is imperative for establishing healthy, active lifestyle patterns, self-awareness, social acceptance, and even brain and cognitive development."

In a separate study, Schary and Cardinal looked at the same group of participants and asked about ways parent support and promote active play. They found that parents who actively played with their kids had the most impact, but that any level of encouragement, even just watching their child play or driving them to an activity made a difference.

"When children are very young, playing is the main thing they do during waking hours, so parental support and encouragement is crucial," Schary said. "So when we see preschool children not going outside much and sitting while playing with a cell phone or watching TV, we need to help parents counteract that behavior."

Contact: David Schary
Oregon State University

Related medicine news :

1. Parents of Kids With Cancer No More Likely to Break Up
2. Gay Adults Rejected by Parents Have Worse Health, Study Finds
3. Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them
4. A physicians guide for anti-vaccine parents
5. Parents poor math skills may lead to medication errors
6. Friends Parents Can Sway Teens Odds for Drinking, Smoking
7. Study: Kids Who Sleep in Parents Bed Less Likely to Be Overweight
8. Many Parents of Kids With Autism Dont Put Faith in Pediatricians
9. Pediatric epilepsy impacts sleep for the child and parents
10. Parents are happier than non-parents, new research suggests
11. Parents Often Lose Sleep Over Childs Epilepsy, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is ... a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the ... one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches ... success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in ... than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their writing skills ... patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating him or ... Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, Genome magazine ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... drugs, announced today that it was added to the ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes ... important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in ... durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has ... is led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel ... investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization ... release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... 2022" report to their offering. ... with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by ... and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: