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Catherine E. Draper, Tracy L. Kolbe-Alexander and Estelle V. Lambert

Background:

The Community Health Intervention Programmes (CHIPs) is a physical activity-based health promotion program operating in disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape, South Africa with primary school learners, adults and senior adults. Program growth, anecdotal evidence and experience of those involved suggest the program has been positively received by communities. The aim of this study was to conduct a qualitative, retrospective process evaluation concerning both factors associated with successful implementation of the programs, and implementation challenges.

Methods:

‘Success’ was defined in consultation with CHIPs staff and stakeholders. Data were gathered through naturalistic observation, structured interviews and focus groups (n = 104), and open-ended questionnaires (n = 81). The sample included CHIPs staff and stakeholders, program members and leaders.

Results:

Factors contributing to the program’s success include: focus on combining social development and exercise science, community development model, scientifically sound program content, appropriate activities, intrapersonal and interpersonal factors, program leadership, encouraging staff, and various contextual factors.

Conclusions:

The findings confirm that CHIPs presents a model of sustainable implementation of physical activity in disadvantaged communities, and that it positively impacts the quality of life, perceptions of the role of physical activity in health, and personal responsibility for health of those involved in its programs.

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Steven J. Howard, Caylee J. Cook, Rihlat Said-Mohamed, Shane A. Norris and Catherine E. Draper

Background:

An area of growth in physical activity research has involved investigating effects of physical activity on children’s executive functions. Many of these efforts seek to increase the energy expenditure of young children as a healthy and low-cost way to affect physical, health, and cognitive outcomes.

Methods:

We review theory and research from neuroscience and evolutionary biology, which suggest that interventions seeking to increase the energy expenditure of young children must also consider the energetic trade-offs that occur to accommodate changing metabolic costs of brain development.

Results:

According to Life History Theory, and supported by recent evidence, the high relative energy-cost of early brain development requires that other energy-demanding functions of development (ie, physical growth, activity) be curtailed. This is important for interventions seeking to dramatically increase the energy expenditure of young children who have little excess energy available, with potentially negative cognitive consequences. Less energy-demanding physical activities, in contrast, may yield psychosocial and cognitive benefits while not overburdening an underweight child’s already scarce energy supply.

Conclusions:

While further research is required to establish the extent to which increases in energy-demanding physical activities may compromise or displace energy available for brain development, we argue that action cannot await these findings.

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Simone A. Tomaz, Alessandra Prioreschi, Estelle D. Watson, Joanne A. McVeigh, Dale E. Rae, Rachel A. Jones and Catherine E. Draper

Background: Limited research reports on the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB), sleep, and gross motor skills (GMS) in low- and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to (1) describe BMI, PA, SB, sleep duration, and GMS proficiency in South African preschool children and (2) identify relationships between variables. Methods: BMI, including z scores for height, weight, and BMI were determined. Seven-day PA, SB, and sleep were measured using accelerometry. GMS were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development (second edition). Associations were explored by comparing sleep, PA, SB, and GMS between BMI tertiles using the Kruskal–Wallis test. Results: Most (86%) children (n = 78, 50% boys) had a healthy BMI (15.7 [1.3] kg/m2). Children spent 560.5 (52.9) minutes per day in light- to vigorous-intensity PA and 90.9 (30.0) minutes per day in moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA; most (83%) met the current PA guideline. Nocturnal sleep duration was low (9.28 [0.80] h/d). Although daytime naps increased 24-hour sleep duration (10.17 [0.71] h/d), 38% were classified as short sleepers. Around half (54.9%) of participants complied with both PA and sleep guidelines. No associations between variables were found. Conclusion: Despite being lean, sufficiently active, and having adequate GMS, many children were short sleepers, highlighting a possible area for intervention.

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Simone A. Tomaz, Trina Hinkley, Rachel A. Jones, Rhian Twine, Kathleen Kahn, Shane A. Norris and Catherine E. Draper

Purpose: To assess physical activity (PA) and determine the proportion of preschoolers meeting PA recommendations in different income settings in South Africa. Methods: Preschoolers from urban high-income (UH), urban low-income (UL), and rural low-income (RL) settings wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer for 7 days. PA variables of interest included volume moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA (MVPA) and total PA (light- to vigorous-intensity PA), hourly PA patterns, and percentage of children meeting guidelines (180 min/d of total PA, inclusive of 60 min/d of MVPA). Between-sex differences were assessed using t tests and Mann–Whitney U tests; between-setting differences assessed using 1-way analyses of variance and Kruskal–Wallis tests. Results: For all children (n = 229, aged 5.17 [0.69] y), average MVPA was 124.4 (37.5) minutes per day and total PA was 457.0 (61.1) minutes per day; 96.9% of children met guidelines. Boys did significantly more MVPA than girls (136.7 [39.37] vs 111.5 [30.70] min/d, P < .001), and UH preschoolers were significantly less active than UL and RL preschoolers (UH 409.1 [48.4] vs UL 471.1 [55.6] and RL 461.6 [61.4], P < .001). Conclusion: In both practice and research, it is necessary to explore ways to ensure that South African preschoolers from all income settings continue to engage in and benefit from healthy volumes of PA. This is especially important as preschoolers transition to a formal school environment.

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Simone A. Tomaz, Anthony D. Okely, Alastair van Heerden, Khanya Vilakazi, Marie-Louise Samuels and Catherine E. Draper

Background: In 2018, South Africa developed 24-hour movement behavior guidelines for children from birth to 5 years. This study reports on the stakeholder consultation as part of this development process. Methods: An online survey was completed by 197 participants; 9 focus groups (with parents/caregivers, early childhood development practitioners, and community health workers, total n = 70) were conducted, and a meeting with stakeholders from government and nongovernment organizations (n = 15) was held. Results: In the online survey, stakeholders overwhelmingly agreed with the guidelines (97.0%) and recognized the benefit of putting the guidelines into practice (88.8%). Most online survey respondents (88.3%) reported that the guidelines would benefit all South African children equally. Responses to open-ended questions in the online survey and focus group discussions revealed issues including safety and nutrition of children, perceived parental barriers to using the guidelines, and education. Training and provision of educational materials were identified from all stakeholders as key in the dissemination and implementation of the guidelines. Conclusions: The findings informed the development of the South African 24-hour movement behavior guidelines and revealed several important factors to address in the dissemination and implementation of the guidelines to ensure that they are applicable and equitable in South Africa.

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John J. Reilly, Adrienne R. Hughes, Xanne Janssen, Kathryn R. Hesketh, Sonia Livingstone, Catherine Hill, Ruth Kipping, Catherine E. Draper, Anthony D. Okely and Anne Martin

Background: This article summarizes the approach taken to develop UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines for the Under 5s, 2019. Methods: The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE)-Adaptation, Adoption, De Novo Development (ADOLOPMENT) approach was used, based on the guidelines from Canada and Australia, with evidence updated to February 2018. Recommendations were based on the associations between (1) time spent in sleep, sedentary time, physical activity, and 10 health outcomes and (2) time spent in physical activity and sedentary behavior on sleep outcomes (duration and latency). Results: For many outcomes, more time spent in physical activity and sleep (up to a point) was beneficial, as was less time spent in sedentary behavior. The authors present, for the first time, evidence in GRADE format on behavior type–outcome associations for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Stakeholders supported all recommendations, but recommendations on sleep and screen time were not accepted by the Chief Medical Officers; UK guidelines will refer only to physical activity. Conclusions: This is the first European use of GRADE-ADOLOPMENT to develop physical activity guidelines. The process is robust, rapid, and inexpensive, but the UK experience illustrates a number of challenges that should help development of physical activity guidelines in future.

Open access

Monika Uys, Susan Bassett, Catherine E. Draper, Lisa Micklesfield, Andries Monyeki, Anniza de Villiers, Estelle V. Lambert and the HAKSA 2016 Writing Group

Background:

We present results of the 2016 Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) Report Card on the current status of physical activity (PA) and nutrition in South African youth. The context in which we interpret the findings is that participation in PA is a fundamental human right, along with the right to “attainment of the highest standard of health.”

Methods:

The HAKSA 2016 Writing Group was comprised of 33 authorities in physical education, exercise science, nutrition, public health, and journalism. The search strategy was based on peer-reviewed manuscripts, dissertations, and ‘gray’ literature. The core PA indicators are Overall Physical Activity Level; Organized Sport Participation; Active and Outdoor Play; Active Transportation; Sedentary Behaviors; Family and Peer Influences; School; Community and the Built Environment; and National Government Policy, Strategies, and Investment. In addition, we reported on Physical Fitness and Motor Proficiency separately. We also reported on nutrition indicators including Overweight and Under-nutrition along with certain key behaviors such as Fruit and Vegetable Intake, and policies and programs including School Nutrition Programs and Tuck Shops. Data were extracted and grades assigned after consensus was reached. Grades were assigned to each indicator ranging from an A, succeeding with a large majority of children and youth (81% to 100%); B, succeeding with well over half of children and youth (61% to 80%); C, succeeding with about half of children and youth (41% to 60%); D, succeeding with less than half but some children and youth (21% to 40%); and F, succeeding with very few children and youth (0% to 20%); INC is inconclusive.

Results:

Overall PA levels received a C grade, as we are succeeding with more than 50% of children meeting recommendations. Organized Sports Participation also received a C, and Government Policies remain promising, receiving a B. Screen time and sedentary behavior were a major concern. Under- and over-weight were highlighted and, as overweight is on the rise, received a D grade.

Conclusions:

In particular, issues of food security, obesogenic environments, and access to activity-supportive environments should guide social mobilization downstream and policy upstream. There is an urgent need for practice-based evidence based on evaluation of existing, scaled up interventions.

Open access

Taru Manyanga, Joel D. Barnes, Chalchisa Abdeta, Ade F. Adeniyi, Jasmin Bhawra, Catherine E. Draper, Tarun R. Katapally, Asaduzzaman Khan, Estelle Lambert, Daga Makaza, Vida K. Nyawornota, Reginald Ocansey, Narayan Subedi, Riaz Uddin, Dawn Tladi and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: This study compares results of physical activity report cards from 9 countries with low to medium human development indices, participating in the Global Matrix 3.0 initiative. Methods: Country-specific report cards were informed by relevant data and government policy documents, reporting on 10 core indicators of physical activity for children and youth. Data were synthesized by report card working groups following a harmonized process. Grade assignments for each indicator utilized a standard grading rubric. Indicators were grouped into one of 2 categories: daily behaviors and settings and sources of influence. Descriptive statistics (average grades) were computed after letter grades were converted into interval variables. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were calculated for all correlation analyses. Results: Mean grades for daily behaviors were higher (C) than those for settings and sources of influence (D+). Twenty-nine out of the possible 90 grades were assigned an incomplete. There were moderate to strong positive and negative relationships between different global indices and overall physical activity, organized sport and physical activity, active play, family, community and environment, and government. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate an urgent need for high-quality data at the country level in order to better characterize the physical activity levels of children and youth in countries with low to medium human development indices.

Open access

Catherine E. Draper, Simone A. Tomaz, Susan H. Bassett, Cora Burnett, Candice J. Christie, Colleen Cozett, Monique de Milander, Soezin Krog, Andries Monyeki, Niri Naidoo, Rowena Naidoo, Alessandra Prioreschi, Cheryl Walter, Estelle Watson and Estelle V. Lambert

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Catherine E. Draper, Simone A. Tomaz, Linda Biersteker, Caylee J. Cook, Jacqui Couper, Monique de Milander, Kamesh Flynn, Sonja Giese, Soezin Krog, Estelle V. Lambert, Tamarin Liebenberg, Cyndi Mendoza, Terri Nunes, Anita Pienaar, Alessandra Priorieschi, Dale E. Rae, Nafeesa Rahbeeni, John J. Reilly, Louis Reynolds, Marie-Louise Samuels, Ricardo Siljeur, Jody Urion, Mariza van Wyk and Anthony D. Okely

Background: In December 2018, the South African 24-hour movement guidelines for birth to 5 years were released. This article describes the process used to develop these guidelines. Methods: The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation-ADOLOPMENT approach was followed, with some pragmatic adaptions, using the Australian guidelines for the early years as a starting point. A consensus panel, including stakeholders in early childhood development and academics, was formed to assist with the development process. Results: At a face-to-face meeting of the panel, global and local literatures were considered. Following this meeting, a first draft of the guidelines (including a preamble) was formulated. Further reviews of these drafts by the panel were done via e-mail, and a working draft was sent out for stakeholder consultation. The guidelines and preamble were amended based on stakeholder input, and an infographic was designed. Practical “tips” documents were also developed for caregivers of birth to 5-year-olds and early childhood development practitioners. The guidelines (and accompanying documents) were released at a launch event and disseminated through various media channels. Conclusions: These are the first movement guidelines for South African and the first such guidelines for this age group from a low- and middle-income country.