Physical activity (PA) at a young age is an important health behavior to prevent childhood obesity and establish healthy PA habits. Because the majority of preschool-age children attend child-care centers, child-care environment can play an important role in promoting PA among this population. This study examined environmental factors associated with children’s moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) during indoor and outdoor PA sessions at urban child-care centers. Investigators observed daily activity schedules, recreational space, and play equipment at 16 Chicago child-care centers in winter and spring of 2011, and measured child PA using ActiGraph accelerometers for preschoolers ages 3 to 5 years. Statistical analyses were conducted to predict MVPA time and inactivity time during indoor and outdoor PA sessions. More indoor play equipment, structured PA sessions, and spring season were associated with more MVPA during indoor PA sessions. Presence of an outdoor playground and spring season were associated with more MVPA during outdoor PA sessions. These findings support previous studies that indicate the positive impact of access to PA space and equipment on child engagement in PA, and suggest the need for more detailed strategies in scheduling structured PA sessions.
Environmental Factors Associated with Child Physical Activity at Childcare
In the fall of 2009, the Chicago Board of Health will adopt changes to child-care regulations intended to improve nutrition standards, establish minimum time requirements for physical activity and set maximum time requirements for screentime. During a two-year voluntary phase-in period child-care providers will receive education and training to facilitate … More
Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program Is Associated with Healthier Nutrition Environments at Family Child Care Homes in Mississippi
This study describes the foods and beverages offered, nutrition practices, and nutrition policies of family child care homes in Mississippi and differences by participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). A random sample of family child care homes that enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in Mississippi were examined … More
Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time. Research Review: 2010-2016
Over the last six years, efforts to strengthen policies, systems, and environments to promote health and prevent obesity have become more robust and widespread. These efforts include updates to federal policies and programs, state regulations, local policies, and evidence-based guidance. The goal of the current research review is to provide … More