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Jiying Ling, Lorraine B. Robbins, Fujun Wen and Wei Peng

Comprehensive evaluation of prior interventions designed to increase preschoolers’ physical activity is lacking. This systematic review aimed to examine the effect of interventions on objectively measured physical activity in children aged 2–5 years. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. In May 2014, we searched PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane, and Embase. Two reviewers independently identified and appraised the studies. Twenty-four articles describing 23 independent studies and 20 unique interventions met inclusion criteria. Of the 8 interventions resulting in a significant effect in objectively measured physical activity, all were center-based and included a structured physical activity component, 6 included multiple components, 5 integrated theories or models, and 4 actively involved parents. Seven of the 8 were randomized controlled trials. Due to the heterogeneity of the study designs, physical activity measures, and interventions, drawing definitive conclusions was difficult. Although the overall intervention effect was less than optimal, the review indicated that theory-driven, multicomponent interventions including a structured physical activity component and targeting both parents and their children may be a promising approach for increasing preschoolers’ physical activity and warrant continued investigation using rigorous designs to identify those that are most effective.

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Paddy C. Favazza, Gary N. Siperstein, Susan A. Zeisel, Samuel L. Odom, John H. Sideris and Andrew L. Moskowitz

This study examined the effectiveness of the Young Athletes program to promote motor development in preschool-aged children with disabilities. In the study, 233 children were randomly assigned to a control group or the Young Athletes (YA) intervention group which consisted of 24 motor skill lessons delivered 3 times per week for 8 weeks. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) showed that children who participated in the YA intervention exhibited mean gains of 7–9 months on the Peabody Developmental Motor Subscales (PDMS) compared with mean gains of 3–5 months for the control group. Children in the YA intervention also exhibited significant gains on the gross motor subscale of the Vineland Teacher Rating Form (VTRF). Teachers and parents reported benefits for children not only in specific motor skills, but also kindergarten readiness skills and social/play skills. The necessity for direct and intentional instruction of motor skills, as well as the challenges of involving families in the YA program, are discussed.

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Lisa M. Barnett, Avigdor Zask, Lauren Rose, Denise Hughes and Jillian Adams

Background:

Fundamental movement skills are a correlate of physical activity and weight status. Children who participated in a preschool intervention had greater movement skill proficiency and improved anthropometric measures (waist circumference and BMI z scores) post intervention. Three years later, intervention girls had retained their object control skill advantage. The study purpose was to assess whether at 3-year follow up a) intervention children were more physically active than controls and b) the intervention effect on anthropometrics was still present.

Methods:

Children were assessed at ages 4, 5, and 8 years for anthropometric measures and locomotor and object control proficiency (Test of Gross Motor Development-2). At age 8, children were also assessed for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (using accelerometry). Several general linear models were run, the first with MVPA as the outcome, intervention/control, anthropometrics, object control and locomotor scores as predictors, and age and sex as covariates. The second and third models were similar, except baseline to follow-up anthropometric differences were the outcome.

Results:

Overall follow-up rate was 29% (163/560), with 111 children having complete data. There were no intervention control differences in either MVPA or anthropometrics.

Conclusion:

Increased skill competence did not translate to increased physical activity.

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Connie L. Tompkins, Erin K. Shoulberg, Lori E. Meyer, Caroline P. Martin, Marissa Dennis, Allison Krasner and Betsy Hoza

In recent years, several countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Unites States, issued physical activity (PA) guidelines for young children. 1 – 4 Although developed independently, each of these guidelines recommend preschool-aged children participate in a total of 3

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

The benefits of physical activity (PA) and meeting PA guidelines are well-established in preschool-aged children (typically defined as children 3–5 y of age), including improved gross motor skills, cognitive development, adiposity, and cardiometabolic health outcomes ( 4 ). Historically, high

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Kelly Lynn Mulvey, Sally Taunton, Adam Pennell and Ali Brian

aerobic fitness is associated with better performance on the Stroop Test, a measure of executive function focused on cognitive flexibility ( Buck, Hillman, & Castelli, 2008 ). Research with preschoolers also shows that motor performance is correlated with executive function skills ( Livesey, Keen, Rouse

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Sarah Burkart, Jasmin Roberts, Matthew C. Davidson and Sofiya Alhassan

One of many important goals of preschool is to ensure that children adapt and adjust to the classroom setting, which includes acclimating to the behavioral norms of a classroom. Poor adaptive learning behaviors (ie, high distractibility, inattention, difficulty concentrating, and completing tasks

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Ruri Famelia, Emi Tsuda, Syahrial Bakhtiar and Jacqueline D. Goodway

et al., 2010 ). Schools have been identified as a key environment where Indonesia can begin to develop and implement physical activity interventions for children. An important trend in this idea is the recent addition of wide scale access to preschool. Indonesian children aged 3–5 years now have

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Jerraco L. Johnson, Peter A. Hastie, Mary E. Rudisill and Danielle Wadsworth

variable than gender alone based on the amount of variance explained by each variable. However, Taunton, Mulvey, and Brian ( 2018 ) identified gender stereotypes related to overhand throwing in preschool children, in that young girls identified overhand throwing as a skill that boys should engage in

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Paul M. Wright, Lauriece L. Zittel, Tawanda Gipson and Crystal Williams

Physical development is an important outcome in early childhood education for a number of reasons ( Pica, 2006 ; Sanders, 2002 ). For example, in addition to the direct benefits of increased gross motor and fine motor skills, physical development among preschool-age children (3–5 years old) has