Active Early: one-year policy intervention to increase physical activity among early care and education programs in WisconsinReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Public Health

, 16:607

Energy balance-related behaviors


BackgroundEarly childcare and education ECE is a prime setting for obesity prevention and the establishment of healthy behaviors. The objective of this quasi-experimental study was to examine the efficacy of the Active Early guide, which includes evidenced-based approaches, provider resources, and training, to improve physical activity opportunities through structured i.e. teacher-led activity and environmental changes thereby increasing physical activity among children, ages 2–5 years, in the ECE setting.

MethodsTwenty ECE programs in Wisconsin, 7 family and 13 group, were included. An 80-page guide, Active Early, was developed by experts and statewide partners in the fields of ECE, public health, and physical activity and was revised by ECE providers prior to implementation. Over 12 months, ECE programs received on-site training and technical assistance to implement the strategies and resources provided in the Active Early guide. Main outcome measures included observed minutes of teacher-led physical activity, physical activity environment measured by the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation EPAO instrument, and child physical activity levels via accelerometry. All measures were collected at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months and were analyzed for changes over time.

ResultsObserved teacher-led physical activity significantly increased from 30.9 ± 22.7 min at baseline to 82.3 ± 41.3 min at 12 months. The change in percent time children spent in sedentary activity decreased significantly after 12 months −4.4 ± 14.2 % time, −29.2 ± 2.6 min, p < 0.02. Additionally, as teacher led-activity increased, percent time children were sedentary decreased r = −0.37, p < 0.05 and percent time spent in light physical activity increased r = 0.35, p < 0.05. Among all ECE programs, the physical activity environment improved significantly as indicated by multiple sub-scales of the EPAO; scores showing the greatest increases were the Training and Education 14.5 ± 6.5 at 12-months vs. 2.4 ± 3.8 at baseline, p < 0.01 and Physical Activity Policy 18.6 ± 4.6 at 12-months vs. 2.0 ± 4.1 at baseline, p < 0.01.

ConclusionsActive Early promoted improvements in providing structured i.e. teacher-led physical activity beyond the recommended 60 daily minutes using low- to no-cost strategies along with training and environmental changes. Furthermore, it was observed that Active Early positively impacted child physical activity levels by the end of the intervention. However, resources, training, and technical assistance may be necessary for ECE programs to be successful beyond the use of the Active Early guide. Implementing local-level physical activity policies combined with support from local and statewide partners has the potential to influence higher standards for regulated ECE programs.

KeywordsObesity prevention Early care and education Physical activity Accelerometry Environment and policy assessment and observation  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Tara L. LaRowe - Emily J. Tomayko - Amy M. Meinen - Jill Hoiting - Courtney Saxler - Bridget Cullen - the Wisconsin Early


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