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Physical Activity Promotion in the Preschool Years: A Critical Period to Intervene
Healthy Active Living & Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2012; in revised form: 13 March 2012 / Accepted: 22 March 2012 / Published: 16 April 2012
Abstract: The primary aim of this paper is to provide a rationale for the necessity of intervening with a physical activity intervention in the preschool years and why the daycare environment is amenable to such intervention. We also review the prevalence of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and obesity in the preschool population and the impact that these lifestyle behaviours and conditions have on the health of preschool aged children, as secondary objectives. Moreover we discuss implications for intervention and research using a “lessons learned” model based on our research team’s experience of conducting a randomized controlled trial aimed at increasing physical activity, reducing sedentary behaviour and improving motor skill development and body composition in preschoolers. Lastly, we make conclusions based on the literature and highlight issues and directions that need to be addressed in future research in order to maximize health promotion and chronic disease prevention in the pediatric population.
Keywords: preschoolers; physical activity; obesity; prevention; critical period
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Goldfield, G.S.; Harvey, A.; Grattan, K.; Adamo, K.B. Physical Activity Promotion in the Preschool Years: A Critical Period to Intervene. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 1326-1342.
Goldfield GS, Harvey A, Grattan K, Adamo KB. Physical Activity Promotion in the Preschool Years: A Critical Period to Intervene. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(4):1326-1342.
Goldfield, Gary S.; Harvey, Alysha; Grattan, Kimberly; Adamo, Kristi B. 2012. "Physical Activity Promotion in the Preschool Years: A Critical Period to Intervene." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 4: 1326-1342.