PARENTAL ISSUESRural Parents and Exercise: Children as Barriers and MotivatorsLaroche, Helena H. MD; Snetselaar, Linda PhD, RD, LDAuthor Information Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City (Dr Laroche); Iowa Prevention Research Center (Drs Laroche and Snetselaar) and Department of Epidemiology (Dr Snetselaar), University of Iowa School of Public Health, Iowa City. Correspondence: Helena H. Laroche, MD, Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, VAMC Mailstop 152, 601 Highway 6 West, Iowa City, IA 52246 ([email protected]). The authors thank Joyce Baker, MSW, for her help with data cleaning and preparation. This work was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number U48/CCU 720075 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We also thank the member of the Community Health Action Partnership (CHAP) who contributed to the design, content, and recruitment strategy of the overall survey. Helena Laroche has a K23 career development award from NHLBI. The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. Topics in Clinical Nutrition: July/September 2011 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 234-245 doi: 10.1097/TIN.0b013e3182260e96 Buy Metrics Abstract This study assessed the perceptions that rural parents had on whether having children makes exercise difficult. Encouragement from children to exercise and levels of joint exercise with children was also examined. Investigators analyzed a cross-sectional telephone survey including 495 adults younger than 60 years from 2 rural Iowa counties (212 with children). Forty percent of parents reported that children interfered with their ability to exercise at least sometimes (17.9% often or almost always). The percentage was greater among women and those with children younger than 5 years. Of the parents, 26.9% reported exercising with their children often or almost always and 33.0% reported exercising with their children sometimes. Some parents reported encouragement to exercise from children (24.1% often or almost always, 28.8% sometimes). Those who reported encouragement from children were more likely to exercise with their child. Some parents perceived that having children detracts from their ability to exercise, particularly women. Joint parent-child exercise and encouragement of parent exercise by children might motivate parents to exercise. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.