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Preschool and childcare center characteristics associated with children's physical activity during care hours: an observational study

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Background: Preschools and childcare settings offer opportunities to promote adequate levels of physical activity.

    Research is needed to identify the key features of these settings to optimize young children’s activity. The aims of

    this study were to determine if differences existed in preschool children’s physical activity during care hours compared

    with outside care hours and to examine a comprehensive range of potential center-based correlates of physical activity

    for preschool boys and girls.

    Methods: Data are from the Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years study: 71 childcare centers, 65 preschools and

    1002 preschool children. Percent of time in total (light- to vigorous-intensity) physical activity was measured using

    Actigraph GT1M accelerometers. Center physical environment characteristics, policies and practices were assessed by

    trained research staff using comprehensive audit tools. Data were collected in 2008/9 and were analyzed separately for

    boys and girls in Stata using multilevel mixed effects models.

    Results: Boys and girls were less active during care than outside care hours (51.1 % vs. 52.4 %, p = 0.01; 48.0 % vs. 51.5 %,

    p < 0.0001, respectively). In the final adjusted models, number of outdoor spaces with natural ground coverings was

    associated with boys’ physical activity (coeff = 0.477, 95 % CI 0.089, 0.867) and the amount of time girls spent indoors

    before going outdoors was inversely associated with their physical activity (coeff = −0.035, 95 % CI −0.065, −0.004).

    The models explained 12 and 10 % of boys’ and girls’ physical activity during care hours, respectively.

    Conclusions: This study identified that children are significantly less active during than outside care hours. Few

    center-based correlates of preschool children’s physical activity were identified. Future research should explore

    other aspects of centers, such as what children actually do while they are outside, and broader potential influences on

    children’s behaviours including social, cultural and policy contexts within which centers operate

Authors


  •   Hinkley, Trina (external author)
  •   Salmon, Jo (external author)
  •   Crawford, David (external author)
  •   Okely, Anthony D.
  •   Hesketh, Kylie (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Hinkley, T., Salmon, J., Crawford, D., Okely, A. D. & Hesketh, K. D. (2016). Preschool and childcare center characteristics associated with children's physical activity during care hours: an observational study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13 117-1-117-10.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85002951658

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3892&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2889

Has Global Citation Frequency


Start Page


  • 117-1

End Page


  • 117-10

Volume


  • 13

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • Background: Preschools and childcare settings offer opportunities to promote adequate levels of physical activity.

    Research is needed to identify the key features of these settings to optimize young children’s activity. The aims of

    this study were to determine if differences existed in preschool children’s physical activity during care hours compared

    with outside care hours and to examine a comprehensive range of potential center-based correlates of physical activity

    for preschool boys and girls.

    Methods: Data are from the Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years study: 71 childcare centers, 65 preschools and

    1002 preschool children. Percent of time in total (light- to vigorous-intensity) physical activity was measured using

    Actigraph GT1M accelerometers. Center physical environment characteristics, policies and practices were assessed by

    trained research staff using comprehensive audit tools. Data were collected in 2008/9 and were analyzed separately for

    boys and girls in Stata using multilevel mixed effects models.

    Results: Boys and girls were less active during care than outside care hours (51.1 % vs. 52.4 %, p = 0.01; 48.0 % vs. 51.5 %,

    p < 0.0001, respectively). In the final adjusted models, number of outdoor spaces with natural ground coverings was

    associated with boys’ physical activity (coeff = 0.477, 95 % CI 0.089, 0.867) and the amount of time girls spent indoors

    before going outdoors was inversely associated with their physical activity (coeff = −0.035, 95 % CI −0.065, −0.004).

    The models explained 12 and 10 % of boys’ and girls’ physical activity during care hours, respectively.

    Conclusions: This study identified that children are significantly less active during than outside care hours. Few

    center-based correlates of preschool children’s physical activity were identified. Future research should explore

    other aspects of centers, such as what children actually do while they are outside, and broader potential influences on

    children’s behaviours including social, cultural and policy contexts within which centers operate

Authors


  •   Hinkley, Trina (external author)
  •   Salmon, Jo (external author)
  •   Crawford, David (external author)
  •   Okely, Anthony D.
  •   Hesketh, Kylie (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Hinkley, T., Salmon, J., Crawford, D., Okely, A. D. & Hesketh, K. D. (2016). Preschool and childcare center characteristics associated with children's physical activity during care hours: an observational study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13 117-1-117-10.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85002951658

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3892&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2889

Has Global Citation Frequency


Start Page


  • 117-1

End Page


  • 117-10

Volume


  • 13

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom