Evidence suggests that behaviors established at a young age persist in adulthood. If you’re a parent, you probably believe the evidence — that’s why you don’t want your children “picking up bad habits” from other children, or hanging out with “the wrong crowd.”
But this “evidence” might not be quite accurate, at least not when we consider a potential “good” behavior — physical activity. According to a recent study, simply increasing the amount of exercise as a child doesn’t necessarily mean that your children will exercise as adults. The study compared two adult groups: one that received five hours of physical education weekly for six years during primary school, and a group that received only the standard physical activity requirements (about 40 minutes per week).
Questionnaires completed by the groups showed that childhood physical activity did not have a significant effect on attitudes toward, frequency of, or intentions to exercise as adults. The authors believe that consistent exposure to the process of exercise, and to an overall health-oriented program in childhood, may be a more important contributor to positive exercise/fitness patterns in adulthood.
Don’t just encourage (or pressure) your children to participate in sports. Teach your children the value of staying healthy and active, and schedule regular visits for them with your family chiropractor. The lessons they learn could last a lifetime.
Reference: trudeau F, Laurencelle L, Tremblay J, et al. Daily primary school physical education: effects on physical activity during adult life. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 1999, Vol.31, No.1, pp111-117.