Effects of a Three-Year Intervention on Children’s Physical Activity from Age 4 to 7

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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This study focused on the physical activities of 228 children over 3 years. Children were divided into control (n = 112) and intervention (n = 116) groups. Parents of intervention-group children received information and concrete suggestions on how, when, and where to encourage their child’s physical activity. Children in the intervention group spent more time playing outdoors (p = .041) than did children in the control group, and play in the high-activity category increased with age (p < .001), whereas no change occurred in the control group. Our study showed that children’s physical activity could be increased via family-based intervention.

Sääkslahti and Numminen are with the Department of Physical Education, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35 FIN-40014, Jyväskylän yliopisto, Finland. Salo and Välimäki are with the Cardiorespiratory Research Centre and Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku, Kiinamyllynkatu 10, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland. Tuominen and Helenius are with the Department of Biostatistics, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 1, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.