Increasing parental physical activity via children's advocacy: the 'walk your dad' study

Anthony, J 2009, Increasing parental physical activity via children's advocacy: the 'walk your dad' study, Masters by Research, Medical Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Increasing parental physical activity via children's advocacy: the 'walk your dad' study
Author(s) Anthony, J
Year 2009
Abstract The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a child-focused, school-delivered physical activity program on daily steps of children and their paternal parent, and to evaluate the acceptability to teachers of the 'Walk your Dad' program. A pre-test, post-test experimental/control groups design was used. The sample, recruited from Eltham College of Education, consisted of 60 children aged 10- to 13-years and 48 paternal parents aged 35- to 64-years. Physical activity levels were assessed over a 6-day period using New Lifestyles pedometers, 1-week prior to and 1-week after the intervention. The 12-week intervention consisted of two cross curriculum homework activities per week delivered to children by their classroom teacher, focusing on increasing physical activity behaviours of children and their paternal parent. Following cleaning and imputation, data were analysed using descriptive statistics and repeated measures ANOVA. Teachers (n=2) of intervention group participants independently completed a survey on the acceptability of the program in the week following its completion.

Mean weekend steps for children in the intervention group increased from 15,436 +/- 7,680 at pre-test to 19,575 +/- 10,537 at post-test, while among control group children steps decreased from 17,981 +/- 6,552 to 17,278 +/- 6,769. On weekdays (4-days), mean steps for children in the intervention group increased from 46,090 +/- 16,001 to 48,760 +/- 13,648, while among control group children, steps decreased from 46,907 +/- 9,912 to 43,717 +/- 10,255. Mean weekend steps for paternal parents in the intervention group increased from 15,116 +/- 5,640 to 17,473 +/- 6,836, while among control group paternal parents steps decreased from 18,239 +/- 8,345 to 17,836 +/- 6,855. On weekdays (four days) mean steps for paternal parents in the intervention group increased from 31,141 +/- 13,246 to 31,507 +/- 13,132 while among control group paternal parents steps decreased from 34,942 +/- 11,109 to 32,502 +/- 12,602. Repeated measures ANOVA analyses revealed that on weekends for children there were significant differenc es between pre- and post-test (p less than.000), between pre- and post-test for boys and girls (p less than.000), and between boys, girls, intervention and control class (p =.01) at post-test. On weekdays for children there was a significant difference between intervention and control class at post-test (p =.01). Results for paternal parents indicated that there was a significant difference on weekends between pre- and post-test (p less than.000) and on weekdays there was a significant difference between intervention and control class at post-test (p =.05). Both intervention class teachers had consistent views about the program.

The findings suggest that during the period of research and among this group, the intervention had a positive effect on weekend step behaviour of girls and weekday step behaviour of girls, boys and their paternal parents. The process evaluation revealed some aspects of the program may require modification.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Medical Sciences
Keyword(s) Exercise -- Australia
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