This paper reviews the evidence behind the methodological decisions accelerometer users make when assessing habitual physical activity in children aged 0-5 years. The purpose of the review is to outline an evidence-guided protocol for using accelerometry in young children and to identify gaps in the evidence base where further investigation is required. Studies evaluating accelerometry methodologies in young children were reviewed in two age groups (0-2 years and 3-5 years) to examine: (i) which accelerometer should be used, (ii) where the accelerometer should be placed, (iii) which epoch should be used, (iv) how many days of monitoring are required, (v) how many minutes of monitoring per day are required, (vi) how data should be reduced, (vii) which cut-point definitions for identifying activity intensity should be used, and (viii) which physical activity outcomes should be reported and how. Critique of the available evidence provided a basis for the development of a recommended users protocol in 3-5-year olds, although several issues require further research. Because of the absence of methodological studies in children under 3 years, a protocol for the use of accelerometers in this age range could not be specified. Formative studies examining the utility, feasibility and validity of accelerometer-based physical activity assessments are required in children under 3 years of age. Recommendations for further research are outlined, based on the above findings, which, if undertaken, will enhance the accuracy of accelerometer-based assessments of habitual physical activity in young children.
"The accelerometer collects data known as activity Bcounts^ measured in time sampling intervals or epochs (Cliff et al. 2009). Measurements with the Actigraph accelerometer have been found to be valid, and reliable in children aged 3–5 years (Cliff et al. 2009 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research suggests that integrating human movement into a cognitive learning task can be effective for learning due to its cognitive and physiological effects. In this study, the learning effects of enacting words through whole-body movements (i.e., physical exercise) and part-body movements (i.e., gestures) were investigated in a foreign language vocabulary task. Participants were 111 preschool children of 15 childcare centres, who were randomly assigned to one of four conditions. Participants had to learn 14 Italian words in a 4-week teaching program. They were tested on their memory for the words during, directly after, and 6 weeks after the program. In the integrated physical exercise condition, children enacted the actions indicated by the words to be learned in physical exercises. In the non-integrated physical exercise condition children performed physical exercises at the same intensity, but unrelated to the learning task. In the gesturing condition, children enacted the actions indicated by the words to be learned by gesturing while remaining seated. In the conventional condition, children verbally repeated the words while remaining seated. Results confirmed the main hypothesis, indicating that children in the integrated physical exercise condition achieved the highest learning outcomes. Implications of integrated physical exercise programs for preschool children’s cognition and health are discussed.
"The nurse practitioner at the intervention completed daily monitoring report of the outdoor play activities to assure the quality of delivering the play curriculum. To assess differences in levels and patterns of physical activity, a randomly selected group of children from the intervention and control center wore accelerometers (GT3X, ActiGraph Manufacturing Technology Inc., FL., USA)for one week to examine their activity levels and patterns in and outside of childcare during the last month of the intervention . The same group of children also wore heart rate monitors (Polar Team2 Pro, Finland) to assess the activity intensity during outdoor play periods at childcare center. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of obesity increased while certain measures of physical fitness deteriorated in preschool children in China over the past decade. This study tested the effectiveness of a multifaceted intervention that integrated childcare center, families, and community to promote healthy growth and physical fitness in preschool Chinese children.
"Differences in PA between children in the intervention group and those in the control group are investigated by using an Actigraph GT3X + accelerometer for a period of one week, when children reach the age of four. Accelerometers provide objective measurements of PA and sedentary lifestyle [31,32], but, so far, there is limited research on suitable cut-off points between different levels of PA among preschool children. Up until now, the cut-off points suggested by Butte et al.  seem to be the most appropriate for predicting PA using tri-axial accelerometers; for preschool children: sedentary ≤ 100 counts per minute (cpm); light 101-3907 cpm; moderate/vigorous ≥ 3908 cpm . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity is a growing concern in Sweden. Children with overweight and obesity run a high risk of becoming obese as adults, and are likely to develop comorbidities. Despite the immense demand, there is still a lack of evidence-based comprehensive prevention programmes targeting pre-school children and their families in primary health care settings. The aims are to describe the design and methodology of the PRIMROSE cluster-randomised controlled trial, assess the relative validity of a food-frequency questionnaire, and describe the baseline characteristics of the eligible young children and their mothers.Methods/design: The PRIMROSE trial targets first-time parents and their children at Swedish child health centres in eight counties in Sweden. Randomisation is conducted at the child health centre unit level. CHC nurses employed at the participating child health centres received training in carrying out the intervention alongside their provision of regular services. The intervention programme, starting when the child is 8-9 months of age and ending at age 4, is based on social cognitive theory and employs motivational interviewing. Primary outcomes are children's body mass index and waist circumference at 4 years. Secondary outcomes are children's and mothers' eating habits (assessed by a food frequency questionnaire), and children's and mothers' physical activity (measured by accelerometer and a validated questionnaire), and mothers' body mass index and waist circumference.
The on-going population-based PRIMROSE trial, which targets childhood obesity, is embedded in the regular national (routine) preventive child health services that are available free-of-charge to all young families in Sweden. Of the participants (n = 1369), 489 intervention and 550 control mothers (75.9%) responded to the validated physical-activity and food-frequency questionnaire at baseline (i.e., before the first intervention session, or, for children in the control group, before they reached 10 months of age). The food frequency questionnaire showed acceptable relative validity when compared with an 8-day food diary. We are not aware of any previous RCT, concerned with the primary prevention of childhood obesity through sessions at child health centres that addresses healthy eating habits and physical activity in the context of a routine child health services programme.Trial registration: ISRCTN16991919.
BMC Public Health 04/2014; 14(1):335. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-335 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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