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Effects of a Physical Activity Intervention in Preschool Children


Roth, Kristina; Kriemler, Susi; Lehmacher, Walter; Ruf, Katharina C; Graf, Christine; Hebestreit, Helge (2015). Effects of a Physical Activity Intervention in Preschool Children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 47(12):2542-2551.

Abstract

PURPOSE To evaluate a multi-component, child-appropriate preschool intervention program led by preschool teachers to enhance physical activity (PA) and motor skill performance (MS) in 4- and 5-year old children. METHODS Evaluation involved 709 children (mean age 4.7±0.6 years; 49.5% girls) of 41 preschools (intervention group n=21; control group n=20) in the rural and urban surroundings of two German cities. Children in the intervention group received a daily PA intervention lasting 30 minutes, and PA homework over one academic year designed by professionals, but led by preschool teachers. The intervention included educational components for parents and teachers. Primary outcomes were MS (composite motor skill score) and objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) by accelerometry. Measurements were performed at baseline, mid- and post-intervention, and 2 to 4 months after end of intervention. Intervention effects were analyzed by repeated measurement analysis adjusted for "group", sex, age, baseline outcomes, urban/rural location of the preschool, and cluster (preschool). RESULTS Compared to controls, children in the intervention group showed positive effects in MS at post-intervention (estimate effect: 0.625 z-score points, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.276 to 0.975, p=0.001) and at follow-up (estimate effect: 0.590 z-score points, 95% CI 0.109 to 1.011, p=0.007), and an increase in MVPA from baseline to post-intervention by 0.5% of total wearing time (95% CI: 0.002% to 1.01%; p-value: 0.049) at borderline significance. There was no benefit on MVPA for the intervention group between baseline and follow-up. CONCLUSIONS A child-appropriate, multidimensional PA intervention could sustainable improve MS, not PA. Findings suggest that a change of health related behaviors is difficult. Future research should implement participatory intervention components in preschool setting and better integrate the families of the children.

PURPOSE To evaluate a multi-component, child-appropriate preschool intervention program led by preschool teachers to enhance physical activity (PA) and motor skill performance (MS) in 4- and 5-year old children. METHODS Evaluation involved 709 children (mean age 4.7±0.6 years; 49.5% girls) of 41 preschools (intervention group n=21; control group n=20) in the rural and urban surroundings of two German cities. Children in the intervention group received a daily PA intervention lasting 30 minutes, and PA homework over one academic year designed by professionals, but led by preschool teachers. The intervention included educational components for parents and teachers. Primary outcomes were MS (composite motor skill score) and objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) by accelerometry. Measurements were performed at baseline, mid- and post-intervention, and 2 to 4 months after end of intervention. Intervention effects were analyzed by repeated measurement analysis adjusted for "group", sex, age, baseline outcomes, urban/rural location of the preschool, and cluster (preschool). RESULTS Compared to controls, children in the intervention group showed positive effects in MS at post-intervention (estimate effect: 0.625 z-score points, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.276 to 0.975, p=0.001) and at follow-up (estimate effect: 0.590 z-score points, 95% CI 0.109 to 1.011, p=0.007), and an increase in MVPA from baseline to post-intervention by 0.5% of total wearing time (95% CI: 0.002% to 1.01%; p-value: 0.049) at borderline significance. There was no benefit on MVPA for the intervention group between baseline and follow-up. CONCLUSIONS A child-appropriate, multidimensional PA intervention could sustainable improve MS, not PA. Findings suggest that a change of health related behaviors is difficult. Future research should implement participatory intervention components in preschool setting and better integrate the families of the children.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:12 May 2015
Deposited On:28 May 2015 14:18
Last Modified:30 May 2016 19:41
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:0195-9131
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000703
PubMed ID:25970667
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-110991

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