Children watch and learn from observing role model behaviours. Parenting environment may influence a child's learnt skills in exercise and healthy eating. Children imitate parents behaviours, and some behaviours may well be imitated as early as 15 months of age (2013; Stiefel C).
Previous research shows that even with poor socioeconomic factors, this did not affect the children's physical activity, but there were mixed results with healthy dietary habits.
Behaviour is a progressive environment and relationship response. Some authors claim that a learnt behaviour may take a little as 3 months to develop. Selecting exercise that is stimulating and enjoyable is one of the main factors in developing a progressive change (2002; Schlinger H.D).
Benefits of exercise:
- improved self-esteem
- balance and posture
- concentration and cognitive skills
- improved strength, coordination and muscle control
- socialisation skills
- less likely to develop chronic diseases
- maintain healthy weight