Results of a randomized controlled trial to promote physical activity behaviours in mothers with young children
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NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Preventive Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Preventive Medicine, Volume 59, February 2014, Pages 12–18. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.10.022
Objective: Increasing levels of physical activity in mothers have long-term health benefits for the mother and family. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of a six-month, physical activity RCT for mothers of young children. Methods: Women were recruited via playgroups and randomly assigned to intervention (n = 394) or control group (n = 322). The intervention group received a six-month multi-strategy programme delivered via playgroups in Perth, Australia. Measures were mean minutes per week of moderate (M) and vigorous (V) intensity physical activity (PA), and number of days/week of muscle strength exercises. Results: The intervention had a significant effect on mean time for vigorous (p = 0.008), moderate (p = 0.023) and total physical activity (p = 0.001) when compared to the control group. The intervention group increased their vigorous activity by a mean of 24 min/week, moderate activity by 23 min/week and total physical activity by 72 min/week. Conclusions: A relatively minimum home based intervention was able to demonstrate modest but statistically significant improvements in physical activity in a hard to reach group. These changes if maintained over a longer period are likely to improve the health of mothers and have a positive impact on their partners and children.
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