Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Best friends can make a child more physically active

Date:
March 1, 2011
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
Boys and girls who take part in physical activity with their best friend in the neighborhood where they live have higher levels of physical activity, new research by academics in the UK have found.

Boys and girls who take part in physical activity with their best friend in the neighbourhood where they live have higher levels of physical activity, new research has found. With many children not doing enough physical activity the findings could help with the UK's current health care concerns.

The study examined the extent to which the physical activity modelling and physical activity actions of best friends are associated with the physical activity of 10- to 11-year-old children.

The paper, by Dr Russ Jago and colleagues in the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences within the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol, is published online ahead of print in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The study has been funded by a grant from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Data were collected for 986 children of whom 472 provided complete physical activity and best friend data. Participants identified their "best friend" within the school and answered how often they took part in physical activity with the friend and if the friend had encouraged them to be active. Physical activity was assessed via accelerometer for all children and friends. Mean minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day (Mean MVPA) and mean accelerometer counts per minute (Mean CPM) were obtained for all children and best friends. Regression models were run separately for boys and girls and used to examine associations between child and best friend physical activity.

Dr Russ Jago, Reader in the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, School for Policy Studies, said: "With many young people not meeting current UK physical activity guidelines there is a need to identify new ways of making children more physically activity.

"Our findings show that supporting physical activity among friendship groups and encouraging friends to be active together, particularly outside of school, may bring about important changes to children's physical activity."

The research found boys who have best friends who are physically active engage in greater amounts of physical activity. Girls who frequently take part in active play with their best friend achieve higher levels of physical activity than girls who do so less frequently.

For 10- to 11-yr-old children, engaging in physical activity with their best friend often and outside of school hours is associated with higher levels of physical activity.

For girls, mean MVPA was associated with frequency of activity of the best friend and engaging in physical activity at home or in the neighbourhood, with similar patterns for mean CPM. Boys' mean MVPA was associated with their best friend's mean MVPA and being active at home or in the local neighbourhood.

The study is part of a larger project, the Bristol 3Ps Project, which examines the influences of peers and parents on physical activity participation in 10- to 11-yr-old children.

Natasha Stewart, Cardiac Nurse at the BHF said: "This research proves the strength of buddy power -- simply exercising with a best friend or having a friend who is a good exercise role model increases the chance of a child keeping fit and active. We know that kids who exercise during childhood are more likely to continue these good habits as they grow up -- reducing their risk of heart and circulatory disease.

"We are currently faced with a generation of kids whose waistlines are expanding. This research shows that easy initiatives like encouraging your child to run around with their best friend could have a big impact on their health."

The BHF has a range of resources to keep children and young people fit and active. Visit bhf.org.uk/teachers to find out more.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Russell Jago, Kyle Macdonald-Wallis, Janice L. Thompson, Angie S. Page, Rowan Brockman, Kenneth R. Fox. Better With a Buddy: Influence of Best Friends on Children's Physical Activity. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2010; DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181edefaa

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Best friends can make a child more physically active." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118101352.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2011, March 1). Best friends can make a child more physically active. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118101352.htm
University of Bristol. "Best friends can make a child more physically active." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118101352.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins