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Environmental factors associated with physical activity in childcare centers.

Henderson KE, Grode GM, O'Connell ML, Schwartz MB - Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act (2015)

Bottom Line: The purpose of this study was to examine the practices, and environmental aspects of the child care center that are associated with children's moderate and vigorous physical activity.The strongest environmental predictors of MVPA were: time spent in outdoor play, suitability of indoor play space, and teacher encouragement of (but not participation in) indoor play.In order to reach the U.S. recommended 120 minutes of physical activity per day, significant changes will need to occur in the child care setting, including increased time outdoors and more opportunities for indoor physical activity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Yale University (at time of study), 309 Edwards Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA. kathrynh333@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Child care centers influence physical activity levels among children, yet little is known about the specific aspects of the environment that support generous amounts of activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the practices, and environmental aspects of the child care center that are associated with children's moderate and vigorous physical activity.

Methods: Thirty-five child care centers serving 389 3 to 5 year old children were assessed for: 1) environmental characteristics of the center; and 2) staff practices related to child physical activity. Children's physical activity was measured using accelerometers over a single day in child care.

Results: Fourteen percent (an average of 9 minutes per waking hour) were spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The strongest environmental predictors of MVPA were: time spent in outdoor play, suitability of indoor play space, and teacher encouragement of (but not participation in) indoor play.

Conclusions: In order to reach the U.S. recommended 120 minutes of physical activity per day, significant changes will need to occur in the child care setting, including increased time outdoors and more opportunities for indoor physical activity.

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Average percent of observed time spent in physical activity levels, excluding naptime.
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Fig1: Average percent of observed time spent in physical activity levels, excluding naptime.

Mentions: Childcare centers, on average, allotted 23.0% (±10.6) of their schedule to indoor or outdoor physical activities; 20.6% (±9.6) to free play activities in which children choose classroom activities in which to participate; 28.9% (±11.3%) to sedentary activities, such as meal time, circle/story time, or structured lessons; and 27.6% (±17.8%) to naptime. Excluding the nap period, children spent an average of 14% of observed time in MVPA (see Figure 1). This translates to nine minutes per hour of MVPA during non-nap time. Across the average day of observation, children accrued 27 minutes of MVPA.Figure 1


Environmental factors associated with physical activity in childcare centers.

Henderson KE, Grode GM, O'Connell ML, Schwartz MB - Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act (2015)

Average percent of observed time spent in physical activity levels, excluding naptime.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4380241&req=5

Fig1: Average percent of observed time spent in physical activity levels, excluding naptime.
Mentions: Childcare centers, on average, allotted 23.0% (±10.6) of their schedule to indoor or outdoor physical activities; 20.6% (±9.6) to free play activities in which children choose classroom activities in which to participate; 28.9% (±11.3%) to sedentary activities, such as meal time, circle/story time, or structured lessons; and 27.6% (±17.8%) to naptime. Excluding the nap period, children spent an average of 14% of observed time in MVPA (see Figure 1). This translates to nine minutes per hour of MVPA during non-nap time. Across the average day of observation, children accrued 27 minutes of MVPA.Figure 1

Bottom Line: The purpose of this study was to examine the practices, and environmental aspects of the child care center that are associated with children's moderate and vigorous physical activity.The strongest environmental predictors of MVPA were: time spent in outdoor play, suitability of indoor play space, and teacher encouragement of (but not participation in) indoor play.In order to reach the U.S. recommended 120 minutes of physical activity per day, significant changes will need to occur in the child care setting, including increased time outdoors and more opportunities for indoor physical activity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Yale University (at time of study), 309 Edwards Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA. kathrynh333@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Child care centers influence physical activity levels among children, yet little is known about the specific aspects of the environment that support generous amounts of activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the practices, and environmental aspects of the child care center that are associated with children's moderate and vigorous physical activity.

Methods: Thirty-five child care centers serving 389 3 to 5 year old children were assessed for: 1) environmental characteristics of the center; and 2) staff practices related to child physical activity. Children's physical activity was measured using accelerometers over a single day in child care.

Results: Fourteen percent (an average of 9 minutes per waking hour) were spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The strongest environmental predictors of MVPA were: time spent in outdoor play, suitability of indoor play space, and teacher encouragement of (but not participation in) indoor play.

Conclusions: In order to reach the U.S. recommended 120 minutes of physical activity per day, significant changes will need to occur in the child care setting, including increased time outdoors and more opportunities for indoor physical activity.

Show MeSH