Many parents lack the confidence to get their kids to exercise

UBCO assistant prof in Kelowna says parents need public policies and programs to help them successfully encourage behaviour change.

  • Sep. 12, 2016 4:00 p.m.



If Canadian parents are going to get their kids to exercise more, they need more than just public awareness campaigns.

Parents exposed to one such national campaign were actually less confident they could increase their children’s activity levels, according to a recent UBC Okanagan study.

“With statistics outside this study showing 88 per cent of parents believe their children exercise enough and only seven per cent of kids meet recommended guidelines, it is clear more needs to be done,” says Heather Gainforth, an assistant professor of health and exercise sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “While mass media campaigns appear to increase awareness, parents need the support of public policies and programs to help them successfully encourage behaviour change.

“Without that support, parents may not have the tools they need to help their kids become more active.”

As part of her study, Gainforth surveyed 700 parents of children aged 5 to 17 across Canada three months after ParticipACTION’s 2011 “Think Again” campaign aired, and another 700 parents 15 months after.

Gainforth’s study found that parents who saw the campaign were on average less confident that they could encourage their kids to exercise more.

The campaign was designed to raise awareness among parents of physical activity guidelines, which call for kids to get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a day.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), a lack of exercise is one of the contributing factors that has led more than 25 per cent of Canadian children to become overweight or obese.

Weight problems, according to the PHAC, are a contributor to increased incidents of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in children and young people.

Gainforth’s study was recently published in the journal of Health, Education and Behaviour.

Just Posted

Keeping pets safe at Christmas

This time of year presents a lot of possible health hazards for our pets

West Kelowna to stick with regional transportation planning

City council votes to rescind its move to leave regional planning body

Vehicle fire in Kelowna quarry

A vehicle in a Stewart Road quarry burned Thursday morning.

Crash snarls commuter traffic in West Kelowna

One was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon.

Vernon at centre of rail trails convergence

More local development input sought for Okanagan and North Okanagan/Shuswap rail trails

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Anderson extends invitation to Liberal voters

Interim B.C. Conservative party leader invites “disenfranchised Liberal voters” to join his party

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Police kill gunman north of Toronto

Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Most Read