International Journal of Exercise Science 11(5): 168-178, 2018. The aims of this study were to determine if physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors were correlated to components of school readiness skills (i.e., symbol recognition – numbers and letters) in preschoolers and to evaluate the efficacy of a 12-week, academically connected PA intervention on letter and number recognition in preschoolers. Two preschool centers were randomized to a 12-week preschool-based PA intervention (INT) that incorporated short-bout PA lessons embedded into the Massachusetts Early Learning Standards or a health-tracking control group (CON). INT preschoolers completed two 10-minute (as part of morning circle time) and three 5-minute bouts (afternoon after naptime) of PA each week. One hundred fourteen students (INT, n = 60; CON, n = 54) participated in the study, but assessment was completed in 52 children INT, n = 26; CON, n = 26). Whole day PA was measured over one week (including one weekend day) by accelerometry at baseline. School readiness skills were assessed by recognition of symbols (i.e. letters and numbers) at baseline and at 12-weeks. Spearman rank correlations were used to assess a relationship between PA and symbol recognition. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess the effect of the intervention on symbol recognition. There were no significant correlations between PA and symbol recognition and no significant effect of the intervention on pre- to post-scores. Further research may be valuable to examine the benefits of a preschool PA intervention by utilizing longer intervention periods, additional bouts of academically-tailored PA, and more comprehensive measures of school readiness skills.
St. Laurent, Christine W.; Burkart, Sarah; and Alhassan, Sofiya
"Effect of a School-Based Physical Activity Intervention on Number and Letter Recognition in Preschoolers,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 11
5, Pages 168 - 178.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol11/iss5/6