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A peer coach intervention in childcare centres enhances early childhood physical activity: the Active Early Learning (AEL) cluster randomised controlled trial

Telford, RM, Olive, Lisa S and Telford, RD 2021, A peer coach intervention in childcare centres enhances early childhood physical activity: the Active Early Learning (AEL) cluster randomised controlled trial, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1186/s12966-021-01101-2.

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Title A peer coach intervention in childcare centres enhances early childhood physical activity: the Active Early Learning (AEL) cluster randomised controlled trial
Author(s) Telford, RM
Olive, Lisa SORCID iD for Olive, Lisa S orcid.org/0000-0003-4643-8561
Telford, RD
Journal name International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume number 18
Issue number 1
Article ID 37
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2021
ISSN 1479-5868
1479-5868
Keyword(s) Childcare
Early learning
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Nutrition & Dietetics
Peer coach
Physical activity
Physical activity intervention
Physical activity program
Physiology
Preschool
Professional development
RCT
Science & Technology
Summary Background As numbers of children and time spent in childcare centres increase, so does the potential influence of these centres on early childhood physical activity (PA). However, previous reports indicate little success of interventions aimed at improving PA. The Active Early Learning (AEL) program is a multi-component pragmatic intervention designed to imbed PA into the daily curriculum. Delivered by childcare centre staff, it is directed and supported by a peer coach who works across a network of centres. The objective of the study is to investigate the effect of the AEL program on children’s PA. Methods Fifteen childcare centres (8 intervention, 7 control centres; 314 children, 180 boys, 4.3y ± 0.4) participated in a 22-week stratified cluster randomised controlled trial. To be eligible to participate, centres needed to have ≥15 preschool children aged 3 to 5-years. The primary outcome was PA measured by accelerometer (Actigraph GT3X) during childcare centre hours over a 3-day period, calculated in min/h of Total PA and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). The effect of the intervention was evaluated using linear mixed models adjusted for age, sex, accelerometer wear time and centre clustering. Results There was an intervention effect for Total PA (+ 4.06 min/h, 95% CI [2.66 to 5.47], p <  .001) and MVPA (+ 2.33 min/h, 95% CI [1.31 to 3.34] p < .001). On average, a child taking part in the intervention attending a childcare centre from 8 am to 3 pm performed 28 min more Total PA and 16 min more MVPA per day than children receiving usual practice care. Conclusion In contrast with the findings of previous pragmatic trials in early childcare centres, this study shows that a peer-coach facilitated program, focussed on integrating PA into the daily childcare routine, can elicit increases in preschool children’s PA of practical as well as statistical significance. Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials registry: ACTRN12619000638134. Registered 30/04/2019.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12966-021-01101-2
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 11 Medical and Health Sciences
13 Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30149822

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
Open Access Collection
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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.