A 2014 study by Cambridge and Southampton University Researchers showed that the more active a mother is, the more physically active her child will be. That sounds pretty obvious doesn't it! But it's a pretty important outcome to be aware of, especially now that 22,000 children are OBESE when they leave primary school. That's so early in life to be so dangerously overweight.
The study concluded that children are not 'naturally active' and need to be encouraged by their parents and role models in to being active at a young age. Activities need not be adventurous, things like walking to the corner shop, taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to nursery all count towards an active lifestyle.
It was found that: 'for every minute of moderate-to-vigorous activity a mother engaged in, her child was more likely to engage in 10% more of the same level of activity.'
Children love to copy adults, if they see you exercising or taking part in sports then they will want to be like you. If, however, they see you habitually sitting on the sofa watching TV, they will copy that instead.
" For every minute the mother was sedentary, children were 0.18 minutes more sedentary, so one hour of sedentary time in mums would result in 10.8 minutes in children "
The study by Southampton and Cambridge Universities found that once women become mothers their activity levels fell and often failed to return to previous levels. This could be related to a number of issues; medical concerns following birth, lack of body confidence, lack of support at home to have some 'me' time, lack of energy and tiredness.
What is important to note is that feeling tired and lacking energy can often be an effect of not doing anything active and actually by doing some light exercise - such as a walk - can often make you feel revitalised, give you more energy and make you feel happier.
Next time you're heading for the sofa just have a look to see if your little one is watching you, are you being the role model you want to be?