Article Title



Alexandra V. Carroll1, Darby Winkler1, Katherine E. Spring1, Kameron Suire2, Danielle D. Wadsworth1. 1Auburn University, Auburn, AL. 2University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS.

BACKGROUND: Previous research shows that preschool physical activity interventions that target teacher-led strategies, such as verbal prompting and demonstrated modeling increase preschoolers’ physical activity levels. However, it is unknown which of these strategies promotes higher levels of physical activity throughout the preschool day. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine which teacher-led strategy, verbal prompting and/or demonstrated modeling, elicits higher levels of physical activity among preschoolers. METHODS: Participants included 117 preschoolers (61 boys, 56 girls) with a mean age of 3.77 years old and a demographic makeup of 86% African American, 5% Caucasian, 3% Hispanic and 6% Other. MANOVA’s examined differences for light physical activity, MVPA, teacher verbal prompts and demonstrated modeling between segments in the preschool day. A forward stepwise linear regression evaluated whether teacher demonstrated modeling and teacher verbal prompting would affect preschooler’s physical activity levels. RESULTS: There was a significant difference for teacher verbal prompting (p<.001) between segments of the preschool day showing that teachers gave significantly more physical activity prompts during work time compared to morning group (p = .014), outside time (p <.001) and read aloud (p <.001). Results also showed a significant (p = .032) difference in teacher demonstrations throughout the day, however, there were no significant differences between segments. Both light activity (p< .001) and MVPA (p< .001) showed significant differences between segments of the preschool day. During indoor time, on average. light and MVPA were highest during large group, work time, and morning group, where teacher demonstrated modeling occurred the most. Preschooler’s MVPA (p=.005) and MVPA and light physical activity together (p=.036) were significant predictors of teacher demonstrated modeling but not teacher verbal prompting. CONCLUSION: Higher MVPA and light activity are associated with teacher demonstrated modeling during indoor time and should be encouraged among teacher-led strategies to increase physical activity among preschoolers.

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