Physical exercise adherence in finnish children using a music mat: a pilot study


  • Pipsa P A Tuominen Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Jani Raitanen The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland and Tampere University, Faculty of Social Sciences (Health Sciences), Tampere, Finland
  • Pauliina Husu The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland
  • Urho M Kujala Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland



A growing number of studies has shown that informal musical activities, such as singing, playing an instrument, and musical play at home, are positively associated with children’s health. This paper examines the associations between fourteen 4–6-year-old children’s and their parents’ exercise activity, children’s musical and their exercise adherence when using a music mat over an eight-week period in the home environment. Our results show that most of the children moved on the mat breezily and briskly. The parents assessed that exercises required balance and movement control more than endurance or strength. Spearman’s rank-order correlation showed a strong, positive correlation between the children and their parents regarding exercise duration and number of exercise sessions with the mat. A large effect was found between the self-reported increase in physical activity (PA) and perceived encouragement of the family (Mann-Whitney U-test, p=0.034). For completeness, using exact logistic regression it was found that children with a musical background were more likely to use the music mat and increase their PA than were children without a musical background, but the differences were not statistically significant. No differences in fidelity and enjoyment were found. The parents’ role in PA promotion, specifically in completeness and encouragement, is important.


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