Master of Science
Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Dr. Patricia Tucker
This study sought to: (1) measure moderate-vigorous physical activity (PA) levels of a sample of preschoolers; (2) assess which attributes (e.g., space, equipment, policies) within centre-based childcare environments influence PA; and, (3) pilot the methodology to ensure the feasibility of undertaking a full-scale study. Thirty-one preschoolers from five childcare centres across London, Canada participated. Actical® accelerometers were worn by participants for one day during childcare hours to assess activity levels using a 15-second epoch length. The Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation instrument was used to conduct a full-day evaluation of the childcare environment. On average, participants engaged in 11.45 minutes of moderate-vigorous PA. Sedentary opportunities, portable and fixed play equipment, and staff behaviour accounted for 57.1% of the variability in moderate-vigorous PA, with sedentary opportunities, fixed play equipment, and staff behaviours displaying an inverse relationship. Results indicate the critical role the childcare environment plays in promoting PA among preschoolers.
Vanderloo, Leigh M., "The Influence of the Childcare Environment on Physical Activity among Preschool-Aged Children: A Feasibility Study" (2012). University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. Paper 714.