for an acute bout of prolonged sitting by reducing food intake or increasing PA levels ( 28 , 33 ). Yet, this has not been examined in young children. Most preschoolers in Australia (80% of 3 and 4-y-olds) spent at least 1 day a week at childcare ( 29 ). Therefore, interventions in childcare settings
Yvonne G. Ellis, Dylan P. Cliff, Steven J. Howard and Anthony D. Okely
Leigh M. Vanderloo, Patricia Tucker, Ali Ismail and Melissa M. van Zandvoort
Preschoolers spend a substantial portion of their day in childcare; therefore, these centers are an ideal venue to encourage healthy active behaviors. It is important that provinces’/territories’ childcare legislation encourage physical activity (PA) opportunities. The purpose of this study was to review Canadian provincial/territorial childcare legislation regarding PA participation. Specifically, this review sought to 1) appraise each provincial/territorial childcare regulation for PA requirements, 2) compare such regulations with the NASPE PA guidelines, and 3) appraise these regulations regarding PA infrastructure.
A review of all provincial/territorial childcare legislation was performed. Each document was reviewed separately by 2 researchers, and the PA regulations were coded and summarized. The specific provincial/territorial PA requirements (eg, type/frequency of activity) were compared with the NASPE guidelines.
PA legislation for Canadian childcare facilities varies greatly. Eight of the thirteen provinces/territories provide PA recommendations; however, none provided specific time requirements for daily PA. All provinces/territories did require access to an outdoor play space.
All Canadian provinces/territories lack specific PA guidelines for childcare facilities. The development, implementation, and enforcement of national PA legislation for childcare facilities may aid in tackling the childhood obesity epidemic and assist childcare staff in supporting and encouraging PA participation.
Leigh M. Vanderloo, Olivia J. M. Martyniuk and Patricia Tucker
Although preschoolers’ physical activity in center-based childcare has received considerable attention, less is known regarding this group’s activity levels within home-based childcare. This review aimed to explore and synthesize the literature on preschoolers’ physical and sedentary activity levels in home-based childcare. Outdoor playtime was also examined to contribute to the understanding of preschoolers’ activity levels within this particular setting.
Nine online databases were searched for peer-reviewed, English-language, primary studies that quantitatively measured physical and sedentary activity levels of preschoolers attending home-based childcare. Studies were excluded if they were nonprimary research, if they lacked a preschool-aged sample, if they did not quantitatively measure physical or sedentary activity, or if they took place in an ineligible environment.
Seven articles were included in this review; 3 had objective measures of activity levels, and 4 relied on nonobjective measures. Accelerometry data suggest that preschoolers’ average sedentary, moderate-to-vigorous, and total physical activity levels in home-based childcare ranged from 39.5 to 49.6, 1.8 to 9.7, and 10.4 to 33.8 min/hr, respectively. Outdoor playtime appears to be inconsistent in home-based childcare.
Physical activity among preschoolers attending home-based childcare appears to be relatively low and widely varied. Sedentary time has received less attention in home-based childcare settings. Future research examining activity levels in this unique environment is warranted.
Camille Gagné and Isabelle Harnois
Data available indicate that numerous childcare workers are not strongly motivated to engage children aged 3–5 in physical activity. Using the theory of planned behavior as the main theoretical framework, this study has 2 objectives: to identify the determinants of the intention of childcare workers to engage preschoolers in physical activity and to identify the variables that could be used to develop an intervention to motivate childcare workers to support preschoolers’ physical activity.
174 childcare workers from 60 childcare centers selected at random in 2 regions of Quebec completed a self-administered questionnaire assessing the constructs of the theory of planned behavior as well as past behavior, descriptive norm and moral norm.
Moral norm, perceived behavioral control and subjective norm explained 85% of the variance in intention to engage the children in physical activity.
To motivate childcare workers, it is necessary that they perceive that directors, children’s parents and coworkers approve of their involvement in children’s physical activity. In addition, their ability to overcome perceived barriers (lack of time, loaded schedule, inclement weather) should be developed. Access to a large outdoor yard might also help motivate childcare workers.
Temitope Erinosho, Derek Hales, Amber Vaughn, Stephanie Mazzucca and Dianne S. Ward
This study assessed physical activity and screen time policies in child-care centers and their associations with physical activity and screen time practices and preschool children’s (3–5 years old) physical activity.
Data were from 50 child-care centers in North Carolina. Center directors reported on the presence/absence of written policies. Trained research assistants observed physical activity and screen time practices in at least 1 preschool classroom across 3 to 4 days. Children (N = 544) wore accelerometers to provide an objective measure of physical activity.
Physical activity and screen time policies varied across centers. Observational data showed 82.7 min/d of active play opportunities were provided to children. Screen time provided did not exceed 30 min/d/child at 98% of centers. Accelerometer data showed children spent 38 min/d in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and 206 min/d in sedentary activity. Policies about staff supervision of media use were negatively associated with screen time (P < .05). Contrary to expectation, policies about physical activity were associated with less time in physical activity.
Clear strategies are needed for translating physical activity policies to practice. Further research is needed to evaluate the quality of physical activity policies, their impact on practice, and ease of operationalization.
Tessa M. Pollard and Cornelia Guell
We assessed the quality of data on physical activity obtained by recall from Muslim women of South Asian origin, and the feasibility of using accelerometer-based physical activity monitors to provide more objective measures of physical activity in this group.
In this largely qualitative study, 22 British Pakistani women were asked to wear accelerometers (the GT1M Actigraph and/or the Sensewear Armband) for 4 days, provided 2 24-hour recalls of activities, and were interviewed about their experiences with the monitors.
Women reported spending most of their time in housework and childcare, activities which generated the majority of recorded bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity. However, women had difficulty in recalling the timing, and assessing the intensity, of these usually unstructured activities. A significant minority of accelerometer datasets were incomplete and some women reported either forgetting to wear the acceler-ometer or finding it intrusive.
Questionnaires are unlikely to provide an accurate assessment of physical activity in this group of women. This suggests that accelerometer data will be preferable. However, collecting sufficient data for large-scale studies using activity monitors in this population will be challenging.
Jessica L. Chandler, Keith Brazendale, Clemens Drenowatz, Justin B. Moore, Xuemei Sui, Robert G. Weaver and Michael W. Beets
Across the United States, 95% of school-aged youth (aged 5–17 y) are enrolled in public/private schools 1 and nearly 60% of children attend some variation of childcare outside of school, with over 10 million children attending after-school programs (ASPs) and more than 14 million children
Li Ming Wen, Hidde P. van der Ploeg, James Kite, Aaron Cashmore and Chris Rissel
Assessing young children’s physical activity and sedentary behavior can be challenging and costly. This study aimed to assess the validity of a brief survey about activity preferences as a proxy of physical activity and of a 7-day activity diary, both completed by the parents and using accelerometers as a reference measure. Thirty-four parents and their children (aged 3–5 years) who attended childcare centers in Sydney (Australia) were recruited for the study. Parents were asked to complete a 9-item brief survey about activity preferences of their child and a 7-day diary recording the child’s physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Both measures were compared with accelerometer data collected from the child over the same period as the diary survey. The findings suggest that parent completed diaries have acceptable correlation coefficients with accelerometer measures and could be considered in future research assessing physical activity and sedentary behavior of children aged 3–5 years.
Brook L. Skidmore, Linda Keeler, Gordon Chalmers and Keith Russell
A large majority of mothers of young children are not sufficiently physically active to obtain health benefits, and motherhood itself has been associated with irregular physical activity. Ironically, however, a mother’s demanding and busy life presents a situation for which exercise may be extremely advantageous. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to determine the effectiveness of an exercise intervention for increasing physical activity levels and perceived social support for exercise among mothers of young children who serve as primary caregivers. Thirty one mothers with at least one child under the age of five participated in the study. A treatment group (n = 16) participated in an instructor-led “Squat-n-Swap” exercise program once per week for four weeks, followed by four weeks without instructor supervision. A control group (n = 15) did not participate in the exercise program. Participants completed a questionnaire before and after the study. Mixed between-within groups ANOVAs with a significance of p < .05 were used to analyze the data, in addition to post hoc t tests. A chi square analysis was also used. Cross tabs revealed positive changes in women’s perceptions of changes in their physical activity levels. Results also revealed significant interactions for support in the forms of childcare, information, companionship, and validation. The “Squat-N-Swap” model might be a useful option for mothers of young children who would benefit from social support to exercise; however, more research is needed to ascertain this program’s effectiveness in increasing physical activity levels among this population.
Wendy M. Rodgers, Craig R. Hall, Philip M. Wilson and Tanya R. Berry
The purpose of this research was to examine whether exercisers and nonexercisers are rated similarly on a variety of characteristics by a sample of randomly selected regular exercisers, nonexercisers who intend to exercise, and nonexercisers with no intention to exercise. Previous research by Martin Ginis et al. (2003) has demonstrated an exerciser stereotype that advantages exercisers. It is unknown, however, the extent to which an exerciser stereotype is shared by nonexercisers, particularly nonintenders. Following an item-generation procedure, a sample of 470 (n = 218 men; n = 252 women) people selected using random digit dialing responded to a questionnaire assessing the extent to which they agreed that exercisers and nonexercisers possessed 24 characteristics, such as “happy,” “fit,” “fat,” and “lazy.” The results strongly support a positive exerciser bias, with exercisers rated more favorably on 22 of the 24 items. The degree of bias was equivalent in all groups of respondents. Examination of the demographic characteristics revealed no differences among the three groups on age, work status, or child-care responsibilities, suggesting that there is a pervasive positive exerciser bias.