Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.570702
Title: Active play and sedentary behaviour in preschool children : from patterns to intervention
Author: O'Dwyer, Mareesa Vincentia
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
Physical activity (PA) and reducing the time spent sedentary can favourably impact the health and wellbeing of preschool aged children. Despite the importance of regular P A, objective monitoring studies suggest that young children do not accumulate enough P A to benefit their health. Furthermore, relatively few interventions to promote PA in children under 5 have been rigorously evaluated and intervention studies to date have generated mixed results. The aims of this thesis were to a) assess within-day variability of objectively measured moderate-to- vigorous physical activity (MVP A) during weekdays and weekend days among preschool children; b) investigate the effect of a curricular Active Play intervention on children's sedentary and P A behaviours; and, c) investigate the effect of a family focused Active Play intervention on children's weekday and weekend day sedentary time and total P A. Study 1 Background: Identifying periods of the day which are susceptible to varying levels of P A may help identify key times to intervene and potentially change preschool children's PA behaviours. This study assessed variability of objectively measured MVP A during weekdays and weekend days among preschool children. Method: One hundred and eighty-eight children (aged 3-5 years; 53.2% boys) from a northwest English city wore uni-axial accelerometers for 7 consecutive days. Results: Higher levels of MVP A were recorded in boys, particularly those who attended preschool for a half day. Children who attended preschool for a full day engaged in 11.1 minutes less MVPA than children who attended for a half day. After-school hours were characterised by a decrease in activity for all groups. Patterns of activity during the weekend were smoother with less variability. Conclusion: This study identified discrete segments of the week, specifically afterschool and during the weekend, when preschoolers engage in low levels of PA. Higher levels of MVPA among children who attended preschool for less time each day suggests that the structured preschool environment is related to decreased activity. Consequently, there is a need for interventions in young children to focus on school and home environments. - Study 2 Background: Early childhood is a critical time for the promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviours such as physical activity. Cross-sectional studies suggest that preschool children are not sufficiently active to benefit their health. Few studies have investigated the effect of interventions on physical activity levels and time spent being sedentary in this population. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a school-based active play intervention on preschool children's physical activity and sedentary time. Method: Two hundred and forty children were recruited from 12 randomly selected preschools in the North West of England. Six schools were randomly assigned to either an intervention (n=6) or a current practice comparison group (n=6). One teacher in each intervention school received training in the delivery of a 6-week active play programme including active play resources. The training programme was delivered by experienced active play professionals. Comparison schools received the active play resources (but not the training) and were asked to deliver their usual active play provision. Children wore a uni-axial accelerometer for 7 days at baseline, post-test and at 6 months follow up. Whole week sedentary time and physical activity adjusted for pupil- and school- level covariates were analysed using multilevel analyses. Results: No significant intervention effects were observed for sedentary time or physical activity. Sex and hours spent at school were significant predictors of physical activity in this age group, with boys engaging in less sedentary time and more light intensity activity than girls. Children who spent fewer hours at school were significantly more active than those who spent more time at school. BMI, maternal education, child's ethnicity and accelerometer wear time were not associated with activity levels. Conclusion: Physical activity during intervention classes was high. However the six teacher training intervention sessions did not increase physical activity or decrease sedentary time over a week. Specific covariates were identified as having a significant effect on the outcome measures. Moreover, children who spend more time at pre-school were less active suggesting that this setting was not as conducive to physical activity engagement as other environments. Study 3 Background: Early childhood provides a window of opportunity for the promotion of physical activity. Given the limited effectiveness of interventions to date, new approaches are needed. Socio-ecological models suggest that involving parents as intervention targets may be effective in fostering healthier lifestyles in children. This study describes the effectiveness of a family-focused' Active Play' intervention in decreasing sedentary time and increasing total physical activity in preschool children. Method: Seventy-seven families were recruited from 8 randomly selected SureStart children's centres in the North West of England. Centres were randomly assigned to either an intervention (n=4) or a comparison group (n=4). Parents and children in the - intervention group received a IOeweek active play programme delivered by trained active play professionals; this included an activity and educational component. Families in the comparison group were asked to maintain their usual routine. Each participating parent and child wore a uni-axial accelerometer for 7 days at baseline and post-test. Week and weekend day sedentary time and total physical activity adjusted for child- and home- level covariates were analysed using multilevel analyses. Results: Significant intervention effects were observed for sedentary time and physical activity for both week and weekend days. Children in the intervention group engaged in 1.5% and 4.3% less sedentary time during week and weekend days, respectively and 4.5% and 13.1 % more physical activity during week and weekend days, respectively than children in the comparison group. Parent's participation in sport and their physical activity levels, child's sex, availability of media in the home and attendance at organised activities were significant predictors of sedentary time and physical activity in this age group. Conclusion: A 10-week family focused active play intervention produced positive changes in sedentary time and total physical activity levels in preschool children. Specific covariates were identified as having a significant effect on the outcome measures. Moreover, children whose parents were active engaged in less sedentary time and more physical activity suggesting that parent's activity habits are mediators of physical activity engagement in this age group.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.570702  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GV Recreation Leisure ; RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
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