Guidelines for children’s activity levels need to be presented more sensitively and positively

Georgina BentleyBy Georgina Bentley
PhD Student
Centre for Academic Primary Care

For many parents with young children (myself included), it may seem as if they never sit still, but surprisingly, research indicates that preschool children are not achieving the Government targets* for physical activity and are spending too much time in sedentary behaviours, such as watching TV.

As part of my PhD research on preschoolers’ physical activity and sedentary behaviour, I wanted to understand mothers’ reactions to these guidelines. Mothers are considered the gatekeepers of young children’s activity behaviours and so understanding how they perceive these guidelines seemed an obvious first step in determining how preschool children can be helped to meet the targets.

After interviewing mothers, the findings reveals that mothers don’t feel that the guidelines are relevant to their children, and some indicated that they wouldn’t take any notice of them. Their explanation for this is because they feel … Read more