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  • Author: Sanne L.C. Veldman x
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João R. Pereira, Dylan P. Cliff, Eduarda Sousa-Sá, Zhiguang Zhang, Jade McNeill, Sanne L.C. Veldman, and Rute Santos

Background: This study aimed to understand whether a higher number of sedentary bouts (SED bouts) and higher levels of sedentary time (SED time) occur according to different day types (childcare days, nonchildcare weekdays, and weekends) in Australian toddlers (1–2.99 y) and preschoolers (3–5.99 y). Methods: The SED time and bouts were assessed using ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers. The sample was composed of 264 toddlers and 343 preschoolers. The SED bouts and time differences were calculated using linear mixed models. Results: The toddlers’ percentage of SED time was higher on nonchildcare days compared with childcare days (mean difference [MD] = 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.7 to 3.9). The toddlers had a higher number of 1- to 4-minute SED bouts on nonchildcare days compared with childcare days. The preschoolers presented higher percentages of SED time during nonchildcare days (MD = 3.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.6 to 4.5) and weekends (MD = 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 0.4 to 3.4) compared with childcare days. The preschoolers presented a higher number of SED bouts (1–4, 5–9, 10–19, and 20–30 min) during nonchildcare days and weekends compared with childcare days. No SED times or bout differences were found between nonchildcare days and weekends, neither SED bouts >30 minutes on toddlers nor on preschoolers. Conclusion: The SED time and bouts seem to be lower during childcare periods, which means that interventions to reduce sedentary time should consider targeting nonchildcare days and weekends.

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Sanne L.C. Veldman, Rachel A. Jones, Rebecca M. Stanley, Dylan P. Cliff, Stewart A. Vella, Steven J. Howard, Anne-Maree Parrish, and Anthony D. Okely

Background: The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of an embedded after-school intervention, on promoting physical activity and academic achievement in primary-school-aged children. Methods: This 6-month, 2-arm cluster randomized controlled trial involved 4 after-school centers. Two centers were randomly assigned to the intervention, which involved training the center staff on and implementing structured physical activity (team sports and physical activity sessions for 75 min) and academic enrichment activities (45 min). The activities were implemented 3 afternoons per week for 2.5 hours. The control centers continued their usual after-school care practice. After-school physical activity (accelerometry) and executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility) were assessed pre- and postintervention. Results: A total of 60 children were assessed (7.7 [1.8] y; 50% girls) preintervention and postintervention (77% retention rate). Children in the intervention centers spent significantly more time in moderate to vigorous physical activity (adjusted difference = 2.4%; 95% confidence interval, 0.6 to 4.2; P = .026) and scored higher on cognitive flexibility (adjusted difference = 1.9 units; 95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 3.0; P = .009). About 92% of the intervention sessions were implemented. The participation rates varied between 51% and 94%. Conclusion: This after-school intervention was successful at increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity and enhancing cognitive flexibility in children. As the intervention was implemented by the center staff and local university students, further testing for effectiveness and scalability in a larger trial is required.