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Jiménez-Pavón, David; Fernández-Alvira, Juan M.; te Velde, Saskia J.; Brug, Johannes; Bere, Elling; Jan, Nataša; Kovacs, Eva; Androutsos, Odysseas; Manios, Yannis; Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse de and Moreno, Luis A. (2012): Associations of parental education and parental physical activity (PA) with children's PA. The ENERGY cross-sectional study. In: Preventive medicine, Vol. 55, No. 4: pp. 310-314

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OBJECTIVE The present study sought to examine the independent associations of parental education and physical activity (PA) with children's PA across Europe. METHODS A total of 7214 children (10-12 years) were recruited from a school-based cross-sectional survey during 2010 in seven European countries. Weight and height were measured. Parental educational level (PEL) and parents' and children's PA were collected using self-reported questionnaires. Multiple linear regression models were used, comparing children's PA with PEL and PA levels. RESULTS PEL was directly associated with children's PA in Greek and Spanish girls (all P < 0.01) and boys’ PA in Norway (all P < 0.05). Paternal education was directly associated with PA in Hungarian boys (P < 0.05). In overall, parental PA was directly associated with children's PA in more than half of the countries involved (all P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS Our observations suggest that PEL and parental modeling of PA are two independent factors from the home environment influencing the children's PA, but the relationships were gender- and country-specific. Further studies should be focused on intervention strategies for increasing children's PA but considering the important role of these two aspects and especially on the modification of parental modeling of PA.

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