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Differences in sedentary time and physical activity among mothers and children using a movement-to-music video program in the home environment: a pilot study

28 Jan 2016

Measured objectively, less than a quarter of adults and under half of preschool children in Finland meet the physical activity recommendations. Moreover, higher sedentary time among parents (such as watching television) is associated with higher sedentary time of their children. The study introduces an intervention based on reducing sedentary behavior among mothers and their children. It utilizes a combination of music and exercise via a motivation-targeting movement-to-music video program in the home environment. Data were collected in summer 2014 from Finland’s Pirkanmaa region. Each mother–child pair (n = 24, child age: 4–7 years) was assigned to the intervention and control group. Both groups used an accelerometer and completed physical activity diaries for two consecutive weeks (14 days) during waking hours. In addition, the intervention group was instructed to use the movement-to-music video program during the second week. Differences between groups were expected in analysis of sedentary time and physical activity between weeks 1 and 2. The parameters assessed were sedentary time (i.e., lying down or sitting), standing still, and time spent in physical activity. Less sedentary time was revealed in week 2 than in week 1 among both intervention group mothers (56.6 vs. 53.3 %) and for intervention group children (49.5 vs. 46.0 %). The opposite was true of control group mothers (52.1 vs. 52.4 %) and children (46.7 vs. 49.8 %). Within-group differences in mothers’ sedentary time correlated moderately with the children’s sedentary time (Spearman’s r = 0.56). All groups exhibited slightly more standing in the second week than in week 1. Both sets of intervention participants also engaged in more light physical activity in week 2, with the opposite evident for the two control sets. In all groups, except the control children, the proportion of moderate to vigorous physical activity was higher in the second week than the first. The use of music and video content together may yield added benefits in efforts to reduce sedentary behavior and increase physical activity among mothers and their children in the home environment.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in SpringerPlus