Child physical activity levels and associations with modifiable characteristics in centre-based childcare

Bell, A. Colin, Finch, Meghan, Wolfenden, Luke, Fitzgerald, Michael, Morgan, Philip J., Jones, Jannah, Freund, Megan and Wiggers, John 2015, Child physical activity levels and associations with modifiable characteristics in centre-based childcare, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 232-236, doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12314.

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Title Child physical activity levels and associations with modifiable characteristics in centre-based childcare
Author(s) Bell, A. ColinORCID iD for Bell, A. Colin
Finch, Meghan
Wolfenden, Luke
Fitzgerald, Michael
Morgan, Philip J.
Jones, Jannah
Freund, Megan
Wiggers, John
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of public health
Volume number 39
Issue number 3
Start page 232
End page 236
Total pages 5
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication North Melbourne, Vic
Publication date 2015-06
ISSN 1753-6405
Keyword(s) childcare
physical activity
preschool children
Summary Objective: To describe children's physical activity levels during childcare and associations with modifiable characteristics. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 328 preschool children (43% girls; age 3-5 years) and 145 staff from 20 long day care centres in the Hunter Region of NSW, Australia. Pedometers assessed child physical activity levels. Centre characteristics and staff attitudes and behaviours towards children's physical activity were assessed using surveys, interviews and observational audit. Results were analysed using descriptive statistics and linear regression. Results: Over the measurement period, average step count of children was 15.8 (SD=6.8) steps/minute. Four-year-olds had the highest step counts (16.4, SD=7.1, p=0.03) with no differences by sex. Step counts were significantly higher in centres that had a written physical activity policy (+3.8 steps/minute, p=0.03) and where staff led structured physical activity (+3.7 steps/minute, p<0.001) and joined in active play (+2.9 steps/minute, p=0.06). Conclusions: Written physical activity policy, structured staff-led physical activity and staff joining in active play were associated with higher levels of physical activity. Implications: Childcare physical activity interventions should consider including strategies to encourage written physical activity policies and support structured staff led physical activities.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/1753-6405.12314
Field of Research 111704 Community Child Health
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Population Health
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