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HHS HealthBeat (September 24, 2012)

Leading by doing

woman walks in training shoes.
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The benefits of walking

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Kids do what their parents model, and one study shows this in parents’ and kids physical activity. At National Jewish Health in Denver, Kristen Holm looked at data on 83 families with overweight or obese kids ages 7 to 14. Children and parents got a goal of increasing their physical activity by 2,000 steps a day.

Holm says that, on days when a parent reached or exceeded the goal, the kids did, too – but not otherwise. She also says the good days were more often on weekends:

“Given that the effect was strongest on weekends, I think that what was happening is that parents were finding activities to do with their children that they could engage in on weekends.” 

The study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: September 25, 2012