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Res Q Exerc Sport. 2012 Jun;83(2):168-74.

African American preschool children's physical activity levels in Head Start.

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  • 1Division of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48103, USA.


The purpose of this study was to describe the physical activity levels of urban inner city preschoolers while attending Head Start, the federally funded preschool program for children from low-income families. Participants were 158 African American children. Their physical activity during Head Start days was measured using programmed RT-3 accelerometers. Results revealed that the children spent the most time in sedentary and light physical activity, while their participation in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities was low. Given the sedentary class format and limited physical space for the Head Start programs observed, we suggest adding a structured physical activity component to Head Start schools to fight the overweight and obesity crisis.

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