Chelsea L. Smith1, Alexandria Benear1, Michael P. Anderson1, Jill Soto2 , Sandra Arnold1 & Susan B. Sisson1, FACSM 1University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;2Center for Early Childhood Professional Development, University of Oklahoma,

Childhood obesity is a public health concern with 9.4% of 2-to-5 year old children classified as obese and the trajectory into adult obesity. Increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and decreasing sedentary behavior (SB) are associated with lowered childhood obesity. Environmental factors, such as outdoor time and TV viewing time, may contribute to MVPA and SB in preschool-age children. The child-care environment influences MVPA and SB, and is an area for improving activity patterns since 60% of preschool-age children spend a majority of their weekdays in this environment. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between outdoor time and TV viewing time with physical activity in preschool children at the child-care center, while adjusting for the similarities within the classroom. METHODS: An observational study at child-care centers was conducted during 2011-2014. Outdoor time was defined as time children spent in an outdoor play space, and TV viewing time was defined as time children spent watching TV. Outdoor time and TV viewing time were observed on two days using a digital wrist watch. Physical activity intensity and duration was measured for the entire school-day using waist-worn accelerometers. Data were recorded in 15-second epochs and analyzed with age-specific cut points to determine intensity. Dependent movement variables included minutes of SB, light physical activity (LPA), MVPA, and total steps. Hierarchical models were adjusted for weather, and used for the clustering of children within the classroom. RESULTS: Participants (n=202) of 34 classrooms were 3.7±0.7 years old, 51% male, and 60% Caucasian. Children took 4453±1655 steps, 310±83 minutes of SB, 36±13 minutes of LPA and 19±10 minutes of MVPA. Outdoor time was observed in 87% of classrooms for 77±65 minutes, and TV viewing time was observed in 52.4% classrooms for 57±39 minutes. In hierarchical modelling, outdoor time was associated with SB (df=29, F=1.85, p<0.01), LPA (df=29, F=2.13, p<0.01), MVPA (df=29, F=2.40, p<0.01) and steps (df=29, F=2.69, p<0.01). At the classroom level there were mixed results on the impact of outdoor time, some classrooms with higher outdoor time exhibited higher LPA, MVPA and steps, while others engaged in more SB. TV Viewing time was only associated with MVPA (df=16, F=2.51, p<0.01), with differing directions of association at the classroom level. With higher TV viewing time, some classrooms showed more MVPA, and others less MVPA. CONCLUSION: Investigating the differences between classrooms and the role of the teacher may help increase children’s physical activity.

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