Increasing physical activity in childcare outdoor learning environments: the effect of setting adjacency relative to other built environment and social factors

Smith, William R., Moore, Robin, Cosco, Nilda, Wesoloski, Jennifer, Danninger, Tom, Ward, Dianne S., Trost, Stewart G. and Ries, Nicole (2016) Increasing physical activity in childcare outdoor learning environments: the effect of setting adjacency relative to other built environment and social factors. Environment and Behavior, 48 4: 550-578. doi:10.1177/0013916514551048


Author Smith, William R.
Moore, Robin
Cosco, Nilda
Wesoloski, Jennifer
Danninger, Tom
Ward, Dianne S.
Trost, Stewart G.
Ries, Nicole
Title Increasing physical activity in childcare outdoor learning environments: the effect of setting adjacency relative to other built environment and social factors
Journal name Environment and Behavior   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1552-390X
0013-9165
Publication date 2016-05
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0013916514551048
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 48
Issue 4
Start page 550
End page 578
Total pages 29
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract The problem of childhood obesity can be addressed through study of how built environment characteristics can foster physical activity (PA) among preschool children. A sample of 355 behavior settings in 30 childcare center outdoor learning environments (OLEs) was studied using behavioral mapping techniques. Observers coded activity levels of preschool children across behavior settings. The level of PA observed in 6,083 behavioral displays of children aged 3 to 5 was modeled using multi-level statistical techniques. Both adjacency and centrality of play settings were found to be important factors in increasing the degree of PA, net the effect of numerous other variables. In addition, child-to-child interaction was found to foster PA (more for boys than girls) whereas a teacher’s custodial actions limit PA. Results demonstrate that design of OLE form (particularly adjacency of behavior settings) and content (use of manipulable items such as wheeled toys and balls) facilitates higher levels of PA.
Keyword Built environment
Childcare centers
Outdoor learning environment design
Physical activity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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