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Prev Med. 2012 Feb;54(2):131-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.12.002. Epub 2011 Dec 11.

Factors associated with physical activity in children attending family child care homes.

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College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.



To determine the relationship between family child care home (FCCH) practices and characteristics, and objectively measured physical activity (PA) among children attending FCCHs.


FCCH practices and characteristics were assessed in 45 FCCHs in Oregon (USA) in 2010-2011 using the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care Instrument. Within the 45 FCCHs, 136 children between ages 2 and 5 years wore an accelerometer during child care attendance over a one-week period. Time spent in light, moderate, and vigorous PA per hour was calculated using intensity-related cut-points (Pate et al., 2006).


FCCH characteristics and practices associated with higher levels of PA (min/h; p<0.05) included provision of sufficient outdoor active play [32.2 (1.0) vs. 28.6 (1.3)], active play using portable play equipment [31.7 (1.0) vs. 29.3 (1.4)], the presence of a variety of fixed play equipment [32.2 (1.0) vs. 28.9 (1.3)], and suitable indoor play space [32.2 (1.0) vs. 28.6 (1.3)], engaging in active play with children [32.1 (1.1) vs. 29.6 (1.2)], and receiving activity-related training [33.1 (1.2) vs. 30.3 (1.1)].


This is the first study to identify practices and characteristics of FCCHs that influence children's PA. These data should be considered when developing programs and policies to promote PA in FCCHs.

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