Promoting Fundamental Movement Skill Development and Physical Activity in Early Childhood Settings : A Cluster Randomised Control Trial.
Pediatric Exercise Science. November 2011 ; 23 (4) : 600-615; JONES R, RIETHMULLER A, HESKETH K, TREZISE J, BATTERHAM M, OKELY A
This is one of the very few studies that gathered significant quantitative data to support the inclusion of physical activity on an EY curriculum. As such – this is an important study to cite when we are challenged as to the efficacy of movement/activity programmes in settings. To quote from the abstract, ‘The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability and potential efficacy of a physical activity programme for pre school children. A 20 week 2-arm parallel cluster randomised controlled pilot trial was conducted. The intervention comprised structured activities for children and professional development for staff. The control group participated in usual care activities. Primary outcomes were movement skill development and objectively measured physical activity. At follow-up , compared with children in the control group, children in the intervention group showed greater improvements in movement skill proficiency…….’ What is of significance to us is that sustainability was a serious issue – the participating practitioners were simply unwilling or unable to build on the work of the researchers long term….. so it is not just an Australian issue! There are some interesting ideas in this study as to how this problem may be addressed – we can definitely learn from their findings – please read this study.
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