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Associations between the physical activity levels of fathers and their children at 20 months, 3.5 and five years of age

Walsh, Adam D., Crawford, David, Cameron, Adrian J., Campbell, Karen J. and Hesketh, Kylie D. 2017, Associations between the physical activity levels of fathers and their children at 20 months, 3.5 and five years of age, BMC public health, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4545-8.

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Title Associations between the physical activity levels of fathers and their children at 20 months, 3.5 and five years of age
Author(s) Walsh, Adam D.ORCID iD for Walsh, Adam D. orcid.org/0000-0001-9805-6659
Crawford, DavidORCID iD for Crawford, David orcid.org/0000-0002-2467-7556
Cameron, Adrian J.ORCID iD for Cameron, Adrian J. orcid.org/0000-0002-0568-5497
Campbell, Karen J.ORCID iD for Campbell, Karen J. orcid.org/0000-0002-4499-3396
Hesketh, Kylie D.ORCID iD for Hesketh, Kylie D. orcid.org/0000-0002-2702-7110
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 17
Issue number 1
Article ID 628
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-07-05
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) Fathers
Physical activity
Young children
Summary BACKGROUND: Early childhood (under five years of age) is a critical developmental period when children's physical activity behaviours are shaped and when physical activity patterns begin to emerge. Physical activity levels track from early childhood through to adolescence with low levels of physical activity associated with poorer health. The aims of this study were to examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between the physical activity levels of fathers and their children at the ages of 20 months, 3.5 and 5 years, and to investigate whether these associations differed based on paternal body mass index (BMI) and education.

METHODS: The Melbourne Infant Feeding Activity and Nutrition Trial (InFANT) Program was a cluster randomized-controlled trial delivered to pre-existing first-time parent groups. Physical activity levels of fathers and their first-born children were assessed using the Active Australia Survey and ActiGraph accelerometers respectively. Cross-sectional associations between father and child physical activity behaviours were assessed at each time point. Longitudinal associations between father and child physical activity were also investigated from child age 20 months to both 3.5 and 5 years. Additional stratified analyses were conducted based on paternal BMI and paternal education as a proxy for socioeconomic position (SEP). Data from the control and interventions groups were pooled and all analyses adjusted for intervention status, clustering by first-time parent group and accelerometer wear time.

RESULTS: Physical activity levels of fathers and their children at child age 20 months were not associated cross-sectionally or longitudinally at child age 3.5 and 5 years. Positive associations were observed between light physical activity of healthy weight fathers and children at age 3.5 years. Inverse associations were observed for moderate/vigorous physical activity between fathers and children at age 5 years, including between overweight/obese fathers and their children at this age in stratified analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: There were no clear associations between the physical activity of fathers and children. Future research should include the use of more robust measures of physical activity among fathers to allow in-depth assessment of their physical activity behaviours. Investigation of well-defined correlates of physical activity in young children is warranted to confirm these findings and further progress research in this field.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12889-017-4545-8
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID ARC DE160100141
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30097748

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.