Deakin University

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Family physical activity and sedentary environments and weight change in children

journal contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Kylie BallKylie Ball, L Baur, Amanda Telford, Michelle JacksonMichelle Jackson, L Salmon, David CrawfordDavid Crawford
Objective. To examine associations between family physical activity and sedentary environment and changes in body mass index (BMI) z-scores among 10-12-year-old children over three years.
Method. Design. Longitudinal (three-year follow-up). Subjects. In total, 152 boys and 192 girls aged 10-12 years at baseline.
Measurements. Measured height and weight at baseline and follow-up (weight status, BMI z-scores); aspects of the family physical activity and sedentary environment (parental and sibling modelling, reinforcement, social support, family-related barriers, rules/restrictions, home physical environment) measured with a questionnaire completed by parents at baseline.
Results. At baseline, 29.6% of boys and 21.9% of girls were overweight or obese, and mean (standard deviation, SD) BMI z-scores were 0.44 (0.99) and 0.28 (0.89), respectively. There was a significant change in BMI z-score among girls (mean change=0.19, SD=0.55, p<0.001), but not boys. Among boys, the number of items at home able to be used for sedentary behaviour (B=0.11, p=0.037) was associated with relatively greater increases in BMI z-score. Among girls, sibling engagement in physical activity at least three times/wk (B=-0.17, p=0.010) and the number of physical activity equipment items at home (B=-0.05, p=0.018) were associated with relatively greater decreases in BMI z-score.
Conclusion. Sibling physical activity and environmental stimuli for sedentary behaviours and physical activity within the home may be important targets for prevention of weight gain during the transition from childhood to adolescence.



International journal of pediatric obesity






160 - 167


Informa Healthcare


London, England





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Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Informa Healthcare