Physical fitness is an important indicator of current and future health status. This analysis examines the relationships among child-parent dyads in physical fitness measures.
The analysis is based on biological child-parent dyads from three cycles of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (Cycle 1: 2007 to 2009, Cycle 2: 2009 to 2011, and Cycle 5: 2016 to 2017). Physical fitness components—cardiorespiratory (CRF) (n = 615), muscular strength (n = 1,319) and flexibility (n = 1,295)—were measured at mobile examination centres using standardized fitness tests. Descriptive, correlation and regression analyses were used to examine relationships among child-parent dyads.
CRF (R = 0.12), muscular strength (R = 0.23) and flexibility (R = 0.22) measures were weakly correlated among child-parent dyads. Modest increases in the physical fitness levels of children were observed with increases in the fitness rating scores of their parents. According to unadjusted and adjusted regression models, CRF (p< 0.05), muscular strength (p< 0.001) and flexibility (p< 0.001) were positively associated among child-parent dyads. When examined by sex of parent and child, CRF was significantly associated in mother-son dyads only, grip strength was associated in all dyad types except father-son pairings, and flexibility was associated in mother-son and father-son pairings only.
Senior Scientist and Director, Healthy Active Living and Obesity, CHEO Research Institute