Parenting affects kids’ activity level

A new study from researchers at Oregon State University showed that parenting plays a major role in how active young children are. Parenting was found to be a bigger factor than high-tech gadgets or TV. In general, the researchers discovered that kids age 2 to 4 spent four to five hours a day doing sedentary activity — not including naps and meal times.

The researchers found that kids with parents who tended to spend less time with them and who weren’t home often, ended up spending 30 more minutes each day on screen time than kids with more engaged parents.

In a separate study, the researchers also found that parents could increase activity through encouragement. Parents who actively played with their kids had the largest impact, but the study showed parents who watched their children play or who offered transportation to an activity also contributed to increased activity.

Ron Responds: Ouch, guilt time! How much time do you spend with your children every day?