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Associations of Parenthood with Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Sleep

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Objective: We examined the associations of the presence, number, and the age of children living in the household with adult physical activity, sedentary behavior (sitting and screen time), and sleep behaviors in a large representative sample. Methods: Participants were 8312 adults aged 20-65 from the 2011-2014 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Presence (yes/no), the number of children (none, 1, ≥2), the age of the youngest child (none, ≤5 years, 6-17 years) as well as leisure time physical activity, sitting, screen time, and sleep benchmarks were derived from the home interview. Results: Compared to women with no children in the household, women who reported the presence of a child living in the household were significantly less likely to meet optimal physical activity (OR = 0.69; 95% CI:0.56-0.84) and sleep (OR = 0.73; 95% CI:0.60-0.87) benchmarks, and significantly more likely to meet optimal sitting (OR = 2.08; 95% CI:1.68-2.58) and screen time (OR = 2.42; 95% CI:1.93-3.02) benchmarks. Findings were similar in men for sitting and screen time, however effect sizes were smaller. Findings were mainly consistent regardless of the number of children and the age of the youngest child in the household. Conclusion: Integrated approaches that promote healthy 24-hour behavioral patterns among parents, especially mothers, should be considered.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada);, Email: [email protected] 2: School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON (Canada) 3: School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC (Canada)

Publication date: 01 May 2018

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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