Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preschoolers in Child Care Centers Not Active Enough

Date:
December 21, 2009
Source:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Summary:
Many young children in child care centers are not getting as much active playtime as they should, according to new research.

Many young children in child care centers are not getting as much active playtime as they should, according to new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Related Articles


A study published in the December 2009 issue of the journal Pediatrics found only 13.7 percent of child care centers in North Carolina offered 120 minutes of active playtime during the school day.

Researchers at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention observed and reviewed physical activity and playtime practices and policies in 96 centers across the state. An earlier study by the same group developed the 120 minute benchmark as part of best practice guidelines for promoting healthy weight in young children.

"We think that our guidelines are a starting point for child care centers looking to develop physical activity policies," said Christina McWilliams, a research associate at the center and lead author of the study. "Unfortunately, a lot of the best practice guidelines are not being met in North Carolina."

However, the study also showed positive signs. In 82 percent of the centers, children were not sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time and about 56 percent of centers had a written policy on physical activity.

The investigators began studying activity in child care settings in response to the United States' rapidly increasing rates of childhood obesity. Nationwide, the percentage of obese children aged 2 to 5 years increased more than 30 percent between 2001 and 2004.

"What happens in child care centers is a very important indicator of preschoolers' physical activity levels, since children spend on average 25 hours a week in such centers and physical activity protects against obesity during the preschool-age period," said McWilliams. "More specific physical activity recommendations for centers will be a positive step in fighting childhood obesity."

Meanwhile, another study published by the same group in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that research into finding effective ways to increase physical activity in child care centers is still a new field.

The study, led by Dianne Ward, a research fellow at the center and a nutrition professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, is the first to systematically review research databases for such papers. Ward and her colleagues found that only nine studies, all conducted since 2003, have tested ways to help young children in child care centers become more physically active.

Ward's team recommended that researchers look at all areas of the child care environment, not just the amount of time children are provided for play. For example, other areas that relate to physical activity at preschools include the physical environment (such as fixed and portable play equipment), sedentary environment (such as television viewing time and the presence of TVs and computers in classroom), staff training and behaviors (such as staff joining in active play and providing verbal prompts to increase active play) and a written physical activity policy.

Along with McWilliams and Ward, the co-authors of the Pediatrics journal study are Sarah C. Ball, Derek Hales, Ph.D, and Amber Vaughn, all from UNC; and Sara E. Benjamin, Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School's department of ambulatory care and prevention.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Preschoolers in Child Care Centers Not Active Enough." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091218132300.htm>.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2009, December 21). Preschoolers in Child Care Centers Not Active Enough. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091218132300.htm
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Preschoolers in Child Care Centers Not Active Enough." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091218132300.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins