Move for Health Article 7: Family Fitness – The Role of the Dad

Move for Health Article 7: Family Fitness – The Role of the Dad

Date Published: 23 Oct 2018 Categories: News
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As we approach week 6 – the final week of training for the “Woolworths Move for your Health event in proud association with SANParks” on 4 November- let’s give some thought to how our kids and family’s attitudes might be influenced and shaped by the training we are putting in.


The role of dads in family fitness

We instinctively know that children need great adult role models, to be guided by and influenced to make healthy life choices. There is also ample research that shows that dietary and physical activity habits are formed at early life stages and that they track into adulthood; habits such as consuming energy-dense foods, not engaging in much physical activity and spending long hours behind a screen. Whilst the mothers or mother-figure–might traditionally be viewed as having the most influence on a child’s choices, is this necessarily how it should be?

Australian-based, Professor Philip Morgan, co-director of the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, has done extensive work addressing obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles in children.  He has developed a suite of innovative programmes, for which he has received international research awards, showing the value of a family approach to promoting healthy lifestyles.

Engaging fathers or father figures to enhance physical activity and nutrition in their children, is one of Prof Morgan’s research focus areas. “Research has consistently demonstrated the unique and powerful influence dads wield in shaping physical activity behaviours, learning ability, self-esteem, body image, social skills and resilience, particularly for girls; and physical activity is a unique domain to foster this relationship” says Prof Morgan.  His highly successful programme DADEE (Dads And Daughters Exercising and Empowered), targets fathers as the agents of change to improve their daughters’ physical activity levels, sport skills and social-emotional wellbeing. But it’s not a one-way stream and refreshingly also engages girls to improve the fitness and physical activity levels, and parenting skills of their fathers.


Tips to get kids active

  1. Ensure that you and your kids accumulate (at least) 30 minutes of moderate physical activity almost every day (it can be done in 10 – 15 minute chunks).
  2. Paste ideas of 10 – 15 minute exercise options with your kids on the fridge door.
  3. Teach your kids basic skills (cycling, hitting a ball with a bat, swimming), practise with them and encourage them.
  4. Create exercise opportunities at home – swings, gymnastic bars, a place to skip rope, roller blade or ride their bikes.
  5. Make weekends active by walking at the beach or in the forest or mountains, cycling, playing cricket, throwing a Frisbee or playing bat and ball in the park.
  6. Plan active holidays that include hiking, cycling, swimming, paddling etc.


Implementing these types of activities can result in an outstanding impact that extents way beyond the event we are training for. On that note – a final reminder to schools that we are offering cash prizes for both large and small schools claiming the title of the highest percentage of learners completing the “Woolworths Move for your Health event in proud association with SANParks”. Held in partnership with the Community newspapers, Western Province Cricket Club Running Section (WPCC), Woolworths, FUTURELIFE, SANParks and Claremont Rotary Club, this is sure to be an amazing morning out- and one that lays the foundation for many more similar activities.

Contact us on and we will make sure your school gets the information.


Week 6

29 Oct- 4 Nov


(in step count or time)

Mon 5 min walk

30 min easy jog

Rest 5 min walk

30 min easy jog

Tues Rest 7200 steps / 60 min Rest
Wed 5 min walk

25 min easy jog

Rest 5 min walk

25 min easy jog

Thurs Rest 3600 steps / 30 min Rest
Fri Rest Rest Rest
Sat 15min easy jog 2400 steps / 20 min 15min easy jog
Sun Woolworths Move for your Health 6km Landmarks race. 6km Event! Enjoy! Woolworths Move for your Health 6km Landmarks race.


Event details

Race date Sunday 4 November 2018
Start times 6km 06h45
Registration (individuals) 05h00
COMPULSORY Pre-registration

Schools Mass Participation Competition

Thursday 25 October and Friday 26 October 2018 from 15h00 until 17h30.

SSISA, Boundary Road, Newlands

15h00 – 17h30
Event information SSISA
SSISA information


Kathleen Mc Quaide (Strategic, Marketing and Relationship Manager at SSISA; sport scientist)

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