To measure parental awareness of government physical activity guidelines and knowledge of the amount of physical activity recommended for youth (ie, 60 minutes per day, 7 days per week) as specified in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
A cross-sectional national sample of adults responded to physical activity guideline questions added to the HealthStyles survey in 2009 (n = 1552). The prevalence of parents aware of government physical activity guidelines and knowledgeable of the youth physical activity guideline, specifically, was estimated overall and by parental demographic characteristics (sex, education, income level, race/ethnicity, age group, marital status) and body mass index.
In 2009, 34.8% of parents reported being aware of physical activity guidelines, and 9.7% were knowledgeable of the amount of physical activity recommended for youth.
Many parents lack awareness and knowledge of the youth physical activity guidelines. The low prevalence estimates suggest the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans has not been effectively disseminated. These results may also indicate a need for effective communication strategies to educate and inform parents, an important influencer of children’s health behaviors.