Physical inactivity is a global public health concern. The relationship between dependent children in the home and parental physical activity has not been quantified using objective measures, nor has the relative association of the physical activity levels of mothers and fathers been examined.
To investigate the association of children of different ages in the home on two measures of parental physical activity: daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and likelihood of meeting the guideline of 150 minutes of MVPA per week accumulated in 10-minute bouts.
Data were from the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey (n=2315), and analyses were conducted between February and December 2011. MVPA was measured directly using accelerometry. Linear (minutes of MVPA) and logistic (meeting physical activity guidelines) regression models were performed to determine if the presence, number of children, or the age of the youngest child at home was associated with parental physical activity. All models were adjusted for parental age, marital status, household income, employment, and BMI.