Levels of physical activity among children may be influenced by parental influences. Here, the authors analyzed the locations that parent–child pairs performed joint moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior.
Two hundred and ninety-one parent–child pairs residing in or near Chino, Calif. wore an accelerometer and global positioning system for seven days. The children ranged in age from 8 to 14 years. Data were collected from March 2009 through December 2010. “Joint” behavior was classified as occurring <50 m apart from one another at the same time. The locations where MVPA occurred included residential, commercial, or open space.
The largest proportion of joint MVPA occurred in residential locations. Additionally, obese children were less likely to perform joint MVPA with their parent in open spaces/parks than in residential locations.
The results of this study indicate that the weight status of parent and child are a factor in the location where joint physical activity occurs. Obese parents and children are less likely to engage in MVPA at parks and open spaces, suggesting that location-based interventions may be more impactful.