Feasibility and Efficacy of a “Move and Learn” Physical Activity Curriculum in Preschool Children

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

This study evaluated the effect of a “move and learn” curriculum on physical activity (PA) in 3- to 5-year-olds attending a half-day preschool program.

Methods:

Classrooms were randomized to receive an 8-week move and learn program or complete their usual curriculum. In intervention classes, opportunities for PA were integrated into all aspects of the preschool curriculum, including math, science, language arts, and nutrition education. Changes in PA were measured objectively using accelerometry and direct observation.

Results:

At the completion of the 8-week intervention, children completing the move and learn curriculum exhibited significantly higher levels of classroom moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) than children completing their usual curriculum. Significant differences were also noted for classroom VPA over the final 2 weeks.

Conclusion:

The results suggest that integrating movement experiences into an existing early childhood curriculum is feasible and a potentially effective strategy for promoting PA in preschool children.

Trost is with the Dept of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. Fees is with the Dept of Family Studies and Human Services, and Dzewaltowski the Dept of Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 65606.