Parenthood and factors that influence outdoor recreational physical activity from a gender perspective

Sjögren, Katarina; Hansson, Eva Ekvall; Stjernberg, Louise
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p93
Academic Journal
Background: A physically active life promotes both physical and mental health, increasing well-being and quality of life. Physical activity (PA) performed outdoors has been found to be particularly good for promoting well-being. However, participation in PA can change during the course of a lifetime. Parenthood has been found to be a life event associated with decreased PA, especially among women, although studies in the field are sparse. The aim of this study was to investigate participation in outdoor recreational PA, and factors influencing participation among parents-to-be, with and without previous children, from a gender perspective. Methods: This study included baseline data from parents-to-be, 224 women and 208 men, from the municipality of Karlskrona in south-east Sweden. Data collection was carried out during 2008-2009. We measured the selfreported amount of outdoor recreational PA undertaken during the last year and analysed the probability of participating in this PA using 25 variables covering individual and socioeconomic factors. Results: Seventy-six per cent of the women and 65% of the men had participated in outdoor recreational PA, varying from several times per month to every day, over a 12-month period prior to one month before pregnancy. Participation in PA indoors and owning a dog or a horse emerged as the most important factors associated with the probability of participation in outdoor recreational PA. Men were affected by a greater number of factors than women, for example men who had a family situation that permitted outdoor recreational PA participated in activities to a greater extent than men without such a family situation. The physical aspect, i.e. improved physical condition, staying power and vigour, also played a significant role with regard to participation among men. Conclusions: Becoming a parent is a life-changing event that affects participation in PA. By offering familyoriented PA choices that involve both parents and children, midwives and health promoters can encourage parents to be active and to support each other. The promotion of outdoor recreational PA, which also has restorative effects on well-being, needs to focus on activities which are attractive and affordable for the majority of both women and men.


Related Articles

  • Predictors of time spent outdoors among children: 5-year longitudinal findings. Cleland, V.; Timperio, A.; Salmon, J.; Hume, C.; Baur, L. A.; Crawford, D. // Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health;May2010, Vol. 64 Issue 5, p5 

    Background Given the importance of physical activity for health and age-related declines in physical activity, understanding influences on related behaviours, such as time outdoors, is crucial. This study aimed to understand individual, social and physical environmental influences on...

  • The Role of Recreational Spaces in Meeting Physical Activity Recommendations Among Middle School Students. Chomitz, Virginia Rall; Aske, Denise Burke; McDonald, Julia; Cabral, Howard; Hacker, Karen Ann // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;Jan2011 Supplement 1, Vol. 8, pS8 

    Background: There is growing recognition of the importance of recreational space utilization for promoting physical activity (PA) among youth. Methods: An cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 926 diverse 6th-8th grade students in Somerville, MA. Participants completed the 2007...

  • ONE MORE REASON TO EXERCISE. Tutelain, Louise // Working Mother;Apr2003, p74 

    Presents tips in encouraging children to get physical exercise. Advantage of discounts from health clubs; Suggestion of outdoor recreation; Organization of group activities.

  • Going strong. Mountain, Julie // Nursery World (Haymarket Business Publications Ltd);5/6/2013, Vol. 112 Issue 4318, p32 

    The article offers tips for early years settings in Great Britain on the resources and activities to help build children's physical strength. Outdoor space can be enhanced by becoming more aware of what the outdoor space affords in the way of physical challenges and by providing a wider range of...

  • The Design and Implementation of a Youth Strength and Conditioning Summer Camp. Krotish, Keith; Krotish, Debbie; Bowers, Charlie // Strength & Conditioning Journal (Allen Press);Apr2005, Vol. 27 Issue 2, p82 

    The current research literature supports strength training for children, with benefits that include greater muscle strength, local muscular endurance, and bone mineral density; better body composition; and a significant reduction in the risk for injuries in sports and recreational activities....

  • Outdoor fitness equipment in parks: a qualitative study from older adults' perceptions. Hsueh-wen Chow // BMC Public Health;2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1 

    Background The growing amount of outdoor fitness equipment (OFE) placed in parks in many countries has the intent of encouraging physical activity among aging populations. However, little investigated aspects are the perceptions and experiences of older adults regarding the use of these...

  • Letting Children Go Wild. Millar, Heather // National Wildlife (World Edition);Dec2012/Jan2013, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p1 

    The article discusses the use of natural play spaces to promote outdoor recreation in children as of December 2012. Topics include the development of conservation ethic and nature appreciation in children through outdoor play, the health benefits of outdoor play among children, and guidelines...

  • Additional school exercise beneficial for children of lower socioeconomic, educational backgrounds.  // Infectious Diseases in Children;Oct2010, Vol. 23 Issue 10, p58 

    The article reports that a study from the Heart Center at University of Leipzig, Germany, has showed that additional daily physical activity at school helped improve children's fitness levels and body composition.

  • Kids need us to help get them moving! Wilson, Ron // British Columbia Medical Journal;Sep2014, Vol. 56 Issue 7, p354 

    The article emphasizes the need for adults to encourage children to be physically active. It discusses the 2014 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report, which revealed that only seven percent of five to 11-year-old kids in Canada perform 60 minutes of physical activity everyday. It also cites the...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics