Department of Sport Science, Chair of Social and Health Sciences, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78464, Constance, Germany Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA Departments of Preventive Medicine and Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Background: Physical inactivity is a widespread problem with a great need for innovative intervention concepts to overcome it. Epidemiological studies have identified working women in high-income Western countries to be at greater risk for physical inactivity. The current study included working mothers and examined within-subject associations between doing exercise/sport together with one's child and five different affective states, and with light physical activity (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).Method: During 1 week, mothers (N = 192) completed up to eight ecological momentary assessment (EMA) surveys a day to assess momentary affect and certain situational circumstances (e.g., doing exercise/sport, being together with child). Physical activity was assessed objectively with waist-worn accelerometers.Results: Multilevel analysis showed that doing exercise/sport together with one's child was associated with higher positive affect and lower negative affect compared to being active alone. However, greater frequency of doing exercise/sport together with children was negatively associated with MVPA.Conclusion: Due to the positive effect on momentary affect, combining spending time together with one's child and simultaneously doing exercise/sport might be a good strategy of pairing two relevant personal goals. However, this strategy was not associated with sufficient MVPA.