Introduction: Since physical activity (PA) is a complex behavior formed at an early age, a better knowledge of its correlates could help target children at risk to be less active. We aimed to assess paternal, maternal and early childhood factors influencing toddlers’ PA levels.
Methods: We included father-mother-child triads (n=216) from an ancillary study (3DFIT, N=302) of the 3D Birth Cohort (Québec, Canada). One-hundred prenatal and childhood characteristics from various domains (demography, anthropometry, pregnancy disorders, delivery, lifestyles, child’s temperament and mental/psychomotor/language development) were collected from medical records or valid questionnaires. Children’s PA levels at 2 years were assessed using an accelerometer (GT3X+, Actigraph). Linear or logistic regressions were performed to evaluate the influence of potential factors on four PA outcomes: total PA, moderate-to-vigorous PA, counts/15seconds and achievement of PA recommendations (≥180 minutes/day at any intensity). Variables associated with ≥1 PA outcomes at p<0.15 in bivariate analysis were entered in multivariate analysis and retained in final models at p<0.10.
Results: At 2.0±0.1 years, 3.5% of toddlers were overweight/obese and 38.4% did not meet PA recommendations (no significant difference between child’s sex). However, girls aged of 2 engaged in less total PA than boys (difference of 18 minutes/day, p<0.05). Factors positively associated with ≥1 PA outcomes were child’s gross motor skills (Bayley-III), structured PA practice, number of produced words, temperament (surgency), eating too fast and fruits/vegetables intakes (≥4 times/day). Factors negatively associated with ≥1 PA outcomes were children’s sex (being a girl), growth velocity (birth–3months), hours spent in bed per night, maternal education and having an history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy [HDP]. Our final models explained (R2) 24% to 28% of PA levels variability at 2 years.
Conclusion: We identified temperament (surgency), eating and sleep behaviors, number of produced words and HDP as new correlates of toddlers’ PA levels.
Michèle Bisson– Kinesiologist and Graduate medical student, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Étienne Pronovost– Professional researcher, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
David Simonyan– Statistician, Clinical and Evaluative Research Platform, CHU de Québec-Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Jean R. Séguin– Professor Titular, Department of Psychiatry and Addiction, Faculty of Medicine, Montreal University, Quebec, Canada
William Fraser– Professor, Université de Sherbrooke
Isabelle Marc– Pediatrician, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Marie-Noelle Simard– Assistant professor and scientist, University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine
Andrea A.N. Macleod– Professor and researcher, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada