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How Does the Family Influence the Physical Condition and Health of Children in a Rural Environment?


ABSTRACT: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess physical conditions related to health status and establish relationships with influencing factors such as family structure, educational level, and parental professional occupation in the infant stage of three to five years in a rural setting. The sample included 205 children between 3 and 5 years of age from rural areas (<10,000 inhabitants) from the region of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain). Fitness level was measured using the PREFIT battery; influencing factors were assessed with a family information questionnaire. The results showed significant differences in all the analyzed variables of physical condition and between genders at each of the educational levels except for body mass index. Boys performed better than girls on cardio-respiratory fitness tests, muscle strength in both hands, speed-agility, and longitudinal jump tests for boys aged three, while girls performed the test better at four years. The type of family structure was not correlated with any of the variables of physical condition; a lower level of education of the father and mother and the professional occupation of the mother were correlated with a higher body mass index. As a main conclusion, physical condition related to health seems to be affected by influencing factors such as educational level and family professional occupation, especially of the mother, but the type of family structure does not have as much influence. There are few studies in children from three to five years of age in exclusively rural areas, so the data in this study provides relevant and innovative information, while opening research to cater to this population group.

SUBMITTER: Martinez-Martinez J 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7369752 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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