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Martin E. Block and Timothy D. Davis

Traditional motor development programs for preschool children with disabilities usually utilize a behavior-analytic approach in which children are given specific training and instruction on identified IEP objectives. While this approach has its merits in terms of time-on-task and focus on critical IEP objectives, it is not consistent with current developmentally appropriate philosophies in early childhood education. One of the newer techniques suggested by early childhood educators as a “best practice” in educating young children is an activity-based or play-based approach. Children still have individually determined goals and objectives, but these goals and objectives are “embedded” in a variety of child-directed play activities. The teacher acts as a facilitator, encouraging the child to practice individual goals while exploring the environment. The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of activity-based intervention and provide examples of how it can be implemented within a motor development/physical education context for preschool children with disabilities.

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Christine B. Stopka, Timothy D. Davis, and G. Monique Butcher Mokha

Column-editor : G. Monique Butcher Mokha

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Catrine Tudor-Locke, John M. Schuna Jr, Damon L. Swift, Amber T. Dragg, Allison B. Davis, Corby K. Martin, William D. Johnson, and Timothy S. Church

Background: Step-counting interventions with discrepant intensity emphases may elicit different effects. Methods: A total of 120 sedentary/low-active, postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to one of the following 3 groups: (1) 10,000 steps per day (with no emphasis on walking intensity/speed/cadence; basic intervention, 49 completers), (2) 10,000 steps per day and at least 30 minutes in moderate intensity (ie, at a cadence of at least 100 steps per minute; enhanced intervention, 47 completers), or (3) a control group (19 completers). NL-1000-determined steps and active minutes (a device-specific indicator of time at moderate+ intensity) were collected as process variables during the 12-week intervention. Outcome variables included systolic and diastolic blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, fasting blood glucose and insulin, flow-mediated dilation, gait speed, and ActiGraph GT3X+-determined physical activity and sedentary behavior. Results: The “basic group” increased 5173 to 9602 steps per day and 9.2 to 30.2 active minutes per day. The “enhanced group” similarly increased 5061 to 10,508 steps per day and 8.7 to 38.8 active minutes per day. The only significant change over time for clinical variables was body mass index. Conclusions: Interventions that use simple step-counters can achieve elevated volume and intensity of daily physical activity, regardless of emphasis on intensity. Despite this, few clinical outcomes were apparent in this sample of postmenopausal women with generally normal or controlled hypertension.