Parental factors associated with walking to school and participating in organised physical activities

10 January 2011

Research based on the Millennium Cohort Study looks at how much a child's physical activity can be predicted by parental income and education, health behaviours and parents playing with them.

Research published in the BMC Public Health journal, based on the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) looks at how much a child's physical activity can be predicted by parental income and education, health behaviours and parents playing with them.

Looking at the 5-year MCS follow-up, the researchers found that children are less likely to walk to school as income and parental education increase.  However, if the parent plays with the child in high income families the child is more likely to walk to school.

Children taking part in sport and other organised physical activities are more likely to come from higher income, higher-education families with non-working mothers.  But even in lower socio-economic status families, if the parent plays with the child, they are more likely to take part in organised physical activities. 

BROPHY, S., COOKSEY, R., LYONS, R.A., THOMAS, N.E., RODGERS, S.E. and GRAVERNOR, M.B. (2011) Parental factors associated with walking to school and participation in organised activities at age 5: Analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study. BMC Public Health, 11, 14