Effect of Applying Best Practices for Physical Activity and Screen Time to Family Childcare Homes.

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DOI: 10.5888/pcd20.220325


INTRODUCTION: Early childcare has been identified as an influential setting for children's physical activity. Our objective was to determine whether children aged 2 to 5 years had more accelerometer-measured minutes of physical activity when caregivers in their family childcare home (FCCH) adhered to best practices for physical activity and screen time.

METHODS: We analyzed baseline 2-day observation data collected by using the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation measure from a cluster-randomized trial. Multilevel linear regression models assessed the association between caregivers' meeting best practices for physical activity and screen time and children's time spent sedentary or in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).

RESULTS: All FCCH caregivers (N = 120) in our study were female, and 67.5% were Hispanic. Participating children (N = 349) were 52.1% female and 57.4% Hispanic. A higher score among caregivers for physical activity best practices was associated with more MVPA (B = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.02 to 1.56; P = .04) for children and less sedentary time (B = -2.07; 95% CI, -3.94 to -0.19; P = .04). A higher caregiver score for screen time best practices was associated with less sedentary time (B = -2.07; 95% CI, -3.94 to -0.19; P = .04) and more MVPA time (B = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.03 to .27; P = .04). Children in homes where caregivers offered them 60 minutes or more of outdoor play and participated in outdoor physical activity had more MVPA and less sedentary time. We found no association between various screen-time best practices and children's sedentary time.

DISCUSSION: Children with caregivers who used more best practices for physical activity and screen time had higher activity levels and spent less time sedentary. These findings could help policy makers and people caring for young children modify existing policies and develop programs to help early childhood caregivers implement best practices to promote children's physical activity.

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Preventing chronic disease [electronic resource]



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