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BMC Public Health. 2010 Sep 8;10:534. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-534.

A cluster randomised trial to evaluate a physical activity intervention among 3-5 year old children attending long day care services: study protocol.

Author information

  • 1Hunter New England Population Health, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Meghan.finch@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Young children are not participating in recommended levels of physical activity and exhibit high levels of sedentary behaviour. Childcare services provide access to large numbers of young children for prolonged periods, yet there is limited experimental evidence regarding the effectiveness of physical activity interventions implemented in this setting. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness and acceptability of a multi-component physical activity intervention, delivered by childcare service staff, in increasing the physical activity levels of children attending long day care services.

METHODS/DESIGN:

The study will employ a cluster randomised controlled trial design. Three hundred children aged between 3-5 years from twenty randomly selected long day care services in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia will be invited to participate in the trial. Ten of the 20 long day care services will be randomly allocated to deliver the intervention with the remaining ten services allocated to a wait list control group. The physical activity intervention will consist of a number of strategies including: delivering structured fundamental movement skill activities, increasing physical activity opportunities, increasing staff role modelling, providing children with a physical activity promoting indoor and outdoor environment and limiting children's small screen recreation and sedentary behaviours. Intervention effectiveness will be measured via child physical activity levels during attendance at long day care. The study also seeks to determine the acceptability and extent of implementation of the intervention by services and their staff participating in the study.

DISCUSSION:

The trial will address current gaps in the research evidence base and contribute to the design and delivery of future interventions promoting physical activity for young children in long day care settings.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000087055.

PMID:
20822543
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2944368
Free PMC Article

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