Understanding children’s physical activity (PA) patterns and the factors that may influence PA are important for developing interventions within this population. One hundred and ten children aged 9–10 years from 8 schools had their PA patterns assessed over 7 days. Physiological and self-report data were also collected. Multilevel analyses revealed that cardiorespiratory fitness was a consistent, significant and positive predictor of weekday and weekend PA, while the availability of home sedentary activities was a significant but negative predictor of PA. Since a range of variables were associated with PA levels, intervention developers should be cognizant of variables that may influence children’s activity.
Nicola D. Ridgers, Lee E.F. Graves, Lawrence Foweather, and Gareth Stratton
Jayne Henaghan, Nicola McWhannell, Lawrence Foweather, N. Tim Cable, Alan M. Batterham, Gareth Stratton, and Keith P. George
This exploratory trial evaluates the effect of a structured exercise (STEX) or lifestyle intervention (PASS) program upon cardiovascular (CV) disease risk factors in children. Sixty-one schoolchildren were randomly assigned by school to an intervention or control (CON) condition. The effect of the STEX (compared with CON) was a mean benefit of −0.018 mm for average maximum carotid intimamedia thickness. The PASS intervention did not result in clinically important effects, and no other substantial changes were observed. Relatively high probability of clinically beneficial effects of the STEX intervention suggests that a larger, definitive randomized trial with longer follow-up is warranted.
Mareesa O’Dwyer, Stuart J. Fairclough, Nicola Diane Ridgers, Zoe Rebecca Knowles, Lawrence Foweather, and Gareth Stratton
Identifying periods of the day which are susceptible to varying levels of physical activity (PA) may help identify key times to intervene and potentially change preschool children’s PA behaviors. This study assessed variability of objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during weekdays and weekend days among preschool children.
One hundred and eighty-eight children (aged 3 to 5 years; 53.2% boys) from a northwest English city wore uni-axial accelerometers for 7 consecutive days.
Higher levels of MVPA were recorded in boys, particularly those who attended preschool for a half day. Children who attended preschool for a full day engaged in 11.1 minutes less MVPA than children who attended for a half day. After-school hours were characterized by a decrease in activity for all groups. Patterns of activity during the weekend were smoother with less variability.
This study identified discrete segments of the week, specifically afterschool and during the weekend, when preschoolers engage in low levels of PA. Higher levels of MVPA among children who attended preschool for less time each day suggests that the structured preschool environment is related to decreased activity. Consequently, there is a need for interventions in young children to focus on school and home environments.
Phillip J. Hill, Melitta A. McNarry, Leanne Lester, Lawrence Foweather, Lynne M. Boddy, Stuart J. Fairclough, and Kelly A. Mackintosh
This study aimed to assess whether sex moderates the association of fundamental movement skills and health and behavioral outcomes. In 170 children (10.6 ±0.3 years; 98 girls), path analysis was used to assess the associations of fundamental movement skills (Get Skilled, Get Active) with perceived sports competence (Children and Youth—Physical Self-Perception Profile), time spent in vigorous-intensity physical activity, sedentary time, and body mass index z score. For boys, object control skill competence had a direct association with perceived sports competence (β = 0.39; 95% confidence interval, CI [0.21, 0.57]) and an indirect association with sedentary time, through perceived sports competence (β = −0.19; 95% CI [−0.09, −0.32]). No significant association was observed between fundamental movement skills and perceived sports competence for girls, although locomotor skills were found to predict vigorous-intensity physical activity (β = 0.18; 95% CI [0.08, 0.27]). Perceived sports competence was associated with sedentary time, with this being stronger for boys (β = −0.48; 95% CI [−0.64, −0.31]) than girls (β = −0.29; 95% CI [−0.39, −0.19]). The study supports a holistic approach to health-related interventions and highlights a key association of perceived sports competence and the time children spend sedentary.
Michael J. Duncan, Lawrence Foweather, Farid Bardid, Anna L. Barnett, James Rudd, Wesley O’Brien, Jonathan D. Foulkes, Clare Roscoe, Johann Issartel, Gareth Stratton, and Cain C.T. Clark
The United Kingdom and Ireland have a well-established research base in motor competence (MC) research, ranging from reporting and monitoring levels of MC, developing assessment tools for MC, providing innovative curriculum and intervention design to support learning and development, as well as providing advocacy for particular groups, such as those with motor impairments. This expert statement, on behalf of the International Motor Development Research Consortium, draws together what is currently known about levels of MC in the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as current approaches to intervention in both countries. Subsequently presented are recommendations for researchers and practitioners to advance the field of MC for the benefit of children and youth in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and worldwide.