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Prev Med. 2016 Aug;89:129-139. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.05.019. Epub 2016 May 25.

Correlates of children's objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behavior in early childhood education and care services: A systematic review.

Author information

1
Early Start Research Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia. Electronic address: ktonge@uow.edu.au.
2
Early Start Research Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia. Electronic address: rachelj@uow.edu.au.
3
Early Start Research Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia; Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia. Electronic address: tokely@uow.edu.au.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To systematically review the correlates of physical activity and sedentary behavior among children in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services. Appropriate levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior are important to promote in ECEC services.

METHODS:

A systematic search of 8 databases identified 27 studies published between 1992 and 2015 that met the inclusion criteria. The data were collected and analyzed in 2014 and 2015, and variables were categorized using a Social Ecological Framework.

RESULTS:

Sixty-six variables were identified. The domains of child characteristics (18 studies) and physical environmental factors (17 studies) were most consistently studied, and, for physical activity had the most positive associations. The strongest associations of physical activity were: child's sex and age, children's gross motor coordination, provision of active opportunities for physical activity, and features of outdoor environments (size, use of and presence). The only strong association for sedentary behavior was the presence of outdoor environments.

CONCLUSION:

The correlates of physical activity and sedentary behavior in ECEC services vary. It appears that the most significant influence from within these settings is the physical environments for both physical activity and sedentary behavior. There was an absence of consistent evidence at the educator and organizational levels. Further research in this area should focus on effective use of space, intentional teaching opportunities and well as professional development for educators with an emphasis on their role as a facilitator of quality experiences. This review has been registered with Prospero, #CRD42014013660.

KEYWORDS:

Childcare; Correlates; Physical activity; Preschool; Sedentary behavior; Social ecological framework

PMID:
27235604
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.05.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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