Parents are at risk for physical inactivity; however, few studies have designed physical activity (PA) interventions specifically applied to individuals with young children. To ensure the effectiveness of interventions, it may be useful to first elicit the needs from the target population and incorporate salient strategies identified to the design and delivery of a resultant intervention. We aimed to explore strategies for what to include in and how to best deliver a program designed to increase parental PA.
Twelve parents (6 mothers, 6 fathers) of children younger than 5 years participated in focus group discussions exploring strategies for an intervention program designed to increase parental PA.
A range of themes such as Focus on the Children and Flexible Life/Family Plans imbedded in strategies such as persuasion and information, problem-solving, skill building, and environmental approaches were identified. In addition, a range of strategies for how to best deliver a parental PA intervention evidenced in emerging themes such as Diverse and Brief and Individualized Approach was discussed.
Future research should continue to adopt a ground up, community-based approach to the development and implementation of interventions for this at-risk group to ensure sustained involvement in regular PA.
Hamilton is with the School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and the School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. White is with Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.