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Preschool and childcare center characteristics associated with children's physical activity during care hours: an observational study

Hinkley, Trina, Salmon, Jo, Crawford, David, Okely, Anthony D. and Hesketh, Kylie D. 2016, Preschool and childcare center characteristics associated with children's physical activity during care hours: an observational study, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 13, Article number: 117, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1186/s12966-016-0444-0.

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Title Preschool and childcare center characteristics associated with children's physical activity during care hours: an observational study
Author(s) Hinkley, TrinaORCID iD for Hinkley, Trina orcid.org/0000-0003-2742-8579
Salmon, JoORCID iD for Salmon, Jo orcid.org/0000-0002-4734-6354
Crawford, DavidORCID iD for Crawford, David orcid.org/0000-0002-2467-7556
Okely, Anthony D.
Hesketh, Kylie D.ORCID iD for Hesketh, Kylie D. orcid.org/0000-0002-2702-7110
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 13
Season Article number: 117
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1479-5868
Keyword(s) Correlates
Early childhood
Physical activity
Preschool
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Nutrition & Dietetics
Physiology
AGED 0-4 YEARS
ACTIVITY GUIDELINES
ENVIRONMENT
INTERVENTION
EDUCATION
RECOMMENDATIONS
EXPLORATION
BEHAVIORS
IMPACT
SCHOOL
Summary BACKGROUND: Preschools and childcare settings offer opportunities to promote adequate levels of physical activity. Research is needed to identify the key features of these settings to optimize young children's activity. The aims of this study were to determine if differences existed in preschool children's physical activity during care hours compared with outside care hours and to examine a comprehensive range of potential center-based correlates of physical activity for preschool boys and girls.

METHODS: Data are from the Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years study: 71 childcare centers, 65 preschools and 1002 preschool children. Percent of time in total (light- to vigorous-intensity) physical activity was measured using Actigraph GT1M accelerometers. Center physical environment characteristics, policies and practices were assessed by trained research staff using comprehensive audit tools. Data were collected in 2008/9 and were analyzed separately for boys and girls in Stata using multilevel mixed effects models.

RESULTS: Boys and girls were less active during care than outside care hours (51.1 % vs. 52.4 %, p = 0.01; 48.0 % vs. 51.5 %, p < 0.0001, respectively). In the final adjusted models, number of outdoor spaces with natural ground coverings was associated with boys' physical activity (coeff = 0.477, 95 % CI 0.089, 0.867) and the amount of time girls spent indoors before going outdoors was inversely associated with their physical activity (coeff = -0.035, 95 % CI -0.065, -0.004). The models explained 12 and 10 % of boys' and girls' physical activity during care hours, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: This study identified that children are significantly less active during than outside care hours. Few center-based correlates of preschool children's physical activity were identified. Future research should explore other aspects of centers, such as what children actually do while they are outside, and broader potential influences on children's behaviours including social, cultural and policy contexts within which centers operate.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12966-016-0444-0
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30089225

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.