"Sometimes the more measurable drives out the most important."
- Rene Dubois
Parents and children should be more active together to address physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours
Increasing rates of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours among children and youth are important determinants of chronic disease. Supporting children’s participation in organized physical activities like sports has been promoted as a public health strategy to increase physical activity. Evidence shows that successful interventions are family-focused although research on how parental eating and physical activity behaviours influence children’s behaviours is deficient. We argue that interventions to counter physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours should include a greater focus on home and social environments, specifically the influence and involvement of parents, siblings, and friends in supporting these health behaviours. We conclude that the design of interventions to prevent chronic diseases in children should also more fully consider the conditions within which the behaviours of children and their parents occur. This means encouraging parents and children to be active together to address physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours, while being mindful of unintended consequences from a focus on one behaviour over another.
I'm Daniel Rainham, an associate professor at Dalhousie University. I work with a fantastic team of trainees and colleagues to explore the relationships between the quality of the environment and human health. The quality of the environment can be beneficial, like when we take time to immerse ourselves in nature; or, it can be detrimental such as when we are exposed to harmful contaminants.
My research is focused on measuring the characteristics of the environment, investigating how these characteristics affect our health, and experimenting with solutions and interventions toward a sustainable, healthy lifespan. If this type of work sounds interesting or even fascinating to you then please get in touch.
I'm always looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals to join or support the team. Opportunities.