Advertisement

Promoting gross motor skills and physical activity in childcare: A translational randomized controlled trial

Published:November 05, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2015.10.006

      Abstract

      Objectives

      Educator-led programs for physical activity and motor skill development show potential but few have been implemented and evaluated using a randomized controlled design. Furthermore, few educator-led programs have evaluated both gross motor skills and physical activity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate a gross motor skill and physical activity program for preschool children which was facilitated solely by childcare educators.

      Design

      A six-month 2-arm randomized controlled trial was implemented between April and September 2012 in four early childhood centers in Tasmania, Australia.

      Methods

      Educators participated in ongoing professional development sessions and children participated in structured physical activity lessons and unstructured physical activity sessions.

      Results

      In total, 150 children were recruited from four centers which were randomized to intervention or wait-list control group. Six early childhood educators from the intervention centers were trained to deliver the intervention. Gross motor skills were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development (2nd edition) and physical activity was measured objectively using GT3X+ Actigraph accelerometers. No statistically significant differences were identified. However, small to medium effect sizes, in favor of the intervention group, were evident for four of the five gross motor skills and the total gross motor skill score and small to medium effect sizes were reported for all physical activity outcomes.

      Conclusions

      This study highlights the potential of educator-led physical activity interventions and supports the need for further translational trials within the early childhood sector.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      References

        • Reilly J.J.
        • Jackson D.M.
        • Montgomery C.
        • et al.
        Total energy expenditure and physical activity in young Scottish children: mixed longitudinal study.
        Lancet. 2004; 363: 211-212
        • Beets M.W.
        • Bornstein D.
        • Dowda M.
        • et al.
        Compliance with national guidelines for physical activity in U.S. preschoolers: measurement and interpretation.
        Pediatrics. 2011; 127: 658-664
        • Colley R.C.
        • Garriguet D.
        • Adamo K.B.
        • et al.
        Physical activity and sedentary behavior during the early years in Canada: a cross-sectional study.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013; 10: 54
        • Hardy L.L.
        • King L.
        • Farrell L.
        • et al.
        Fundamental movement skills among Australian preschool children.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2010; 13: 503-508
        • Lubans D.R.
        • Morgan P.J.
        • Cliff D.P.
        • et al.
        Fundamental movement skills in children and adolescents: review of associated health benefits.
        Sports Med. 2010; 40: 1019-1035
        • Timmons B.W.
        • Leblanc A.G.
        • Carson V.
        • et al.
        Systematic review of physical activity and health in the early years (aged 0–4 years).
        Appl Physiol, Nutr Metab. 2012; 37: 773-792
      1. OECD—Social Policy Division—Directorate of Employment Labour and Social Affairs OECD Family Database, PF3.2: Enrolment in childcare and pre-schools. OECD—Social Policy Division—Directorate of Employment Labour and Social Affairs, 2013
        • DEEWR
        • Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments
        Belonging, being, becoming. The early years learning framework for Australia.
        2009 (Commonwealth of Australia)
        • Riethmuller A.
        • McKeen K.
        • Okely A.D.
        • et al.
        Developing an active play resource for a range of Australian early childhood settings—formative findings and recommendations.
        Aust J Early Child. 2009; 34: 43-52
        • Hesketh K.
        • Campbell K.
        Interventions to prevent obesity in 0–5 year olds: an updated systematic review of the literature.
        Obesity. 2010; 18: S27-S35
        • Riethmuller A.
        • Jones R.A.
        • Okely A.D.
        Efficacy of interventions to improve motor development in young children: a systematic review.
        Pediatrics. 2009; 124: E782-E792
        • Van Cauwenberghe E.
        • De Craemer M.
        • De Decker E.
        • et al.
        The impact of a teacher-led structured physical activity session on preschoolers’ sedentary and physical activity levels.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2013; 16: 244-246
        • Moher D.
        • Hopewell S.
        • Schulz K.F.
        • et al.
        CONSORT 2010 explanation and elaboration: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomized trials.
        Int J Surgery. 2012; 10: 28-55
        • Jones R.A.
        • Riethmuller A.
        • Hesketh K.
        • et al.
        Promoting fundamental gross motor skill development and physical activity in early childhood settings: a cluster randomized controlled trial.
        Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2011; 23: 600-615
        • Bandura A.
        Social foundations of thought and actions.
        Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ1986
        • Ulrich D.A.
        Test of gross motor development.
        2nd ed. PRO-ED, Austin, TX2000
        • Hinkley T.
        Multidimensional correlates of preschool children's physical activity.
        Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia2011 (PhD thesis)
        • Evenson K.R.
        • Catellier D.J.
        • Gill K.
        • et al.
        Calibration of two objective measures of physical activity for children.
        J Sports Sci. 2008; 26: 1557-1565
        • Pate R.R.
        • Almeida M.J.
        • McIver K.L.
        • et al.
        Validation and calibration of an accelerometer in preschool children.
        Obesity. 2006; 14: 2000-2006
        • Murray D.
        Design and analysis of group randomized trials.
        Oxford University Press, New York, NY1998
        • Cohen J.
        Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences.
        2nd ed. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ1988
        • Reilly J.J.
        • Kelly L.
        • Montgomery C.
        • et al.
        Physical activity to prevent obesity in young children: cluster randomised controlled trial.
        BMJ. 2006; 333: 1041-1046
        • Finch M.
        • Wolfenden L.
        • Morgan P.J.
        • et al.
        A cluster randomized trial of a multi-level intervention, delivered by service staff, to increase physical activity of children attending center-based childcare.
        Prev Med. 2014; 58: 9-16
        • Hardy L.L.
        • King L.
        • Kelly B.
        • et al.
        Munch and Move: evaluation of a preschool healthy eating and movement skill program.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010; 7: 80
        • Bonvin A.
        • Barral J.
        • Kakebeeke T.H.
        • et al.
        Effect of a governmentally-led physically activity program on motor skills in your children attending child care centres: a cluster randomized controlled trial.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013; 10: 90
        • Zasks A.
        • Adams J.K.
        • Books L.O.
        • et al.
        Tooty Fruity Vegie: an obesity prevention intervention evaluation in Australian preschools.
        Health Prom J Aus. 2012; 23: 10-15
        • Vanderloo L.M.
        • Tucker P.
        • Johnson A.M.
        • et al.
        The influence of centre-based childcare on preschoolers’ physical activity levels: a cross-sectional study.
        Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014; 11: 1794-1802
        • Gallahue D.
        • Ozmun J.
        Understanding motor development. Infants, children, adolescents, adults. vol. 5. McGraw-Hill, New York, NY2002
        • Salmon J.
        • Jorna M.
        • Hume C.
        • et al.
        A translational research intervention to reduce screen behaviours and promote physical activity among children: switch-2-activity.
        Health Prom Int. 2011; 26: 311-321
        • Zask A.
        • Barnett L.M.
        • Rose L.
        • et al.
        Three year follow-up of an early childhood intervention: is movement skill sustained?.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012; 9: 127