Physical activity and preschool children: Preschool teachers' perceptions

  • Fatma Betul Senol Preschool Education Department, Faculty of Education, Afyon Kocatepe University Afyon, TURKEY
Keywords: physical activity, preschool children, preschool teacher

Abstract

In this study, it is aimed to understand the perceptions of preschool teachers around the physical activity levels of children in preschool period and the factors that increase or limit their physical activity. The case study design, one of the qualitative research methods, was used in the study. In addition to maximum variation sampling from purposeful sampling types was used in the selection of the study group. A total of 102 teachers, out of 296 teachers, working in 85 schools were reached. The semi-structured interview form prepared by the researcher was used as the data collection tool. As a result of this study, it was seen that most of preschool teachers had positive opinions about physical activity, they gave importance to physical activity in their classroom activities, and they applied physical activity regularly and in a systematic plan. Preschool teachers are aware of the contribution and importance of physical activity to children, and it is thought that if arrangements are made in line with their suggestions to perform physical activity, children will be more physically active. Teachers made suggestions to improve physical conditions, to have regular PA, to direct them to sports, to ensure that children exercise at home with family education, and to plan the plans interesting so that they can include more PA and make children more physically active. Policy makers, healthcare providers, and teachers should take into account these recommendations and provide various supports to increase children's PA levels.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Baltacı, K., & Sapsağlam, Ö. (2021). Comparison of subjective well-being increasing strategies that Turkish and Swedish mothers use for their children. Southeast Asia Early Childhood Journal, 10(2), 104-118. https://doi.org/10.37134/saecj.vol10.2.7.2021

Biddle, S. J. H., & Asare, M. (2011). Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: A review of reviews. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45(11), 886–895. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2011-090185

Bingham, D. D., Costa, S., Hinkley, T., Shire, K. A., Clemes, S. A., & Barber, S. E. (2016). Physical activity during the early years. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51(3), 384–402. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2016.04.022

Bruce, T., & Meggit, C. (2002). Childcare and education (3rd ed.). Hodder & Stoughton.

Burdette, H. L., Whitaker, R. C., & Daniels, S. R. (2004). Parental report of outdoor playtime as a measure of physical activity in preschool-aged children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 158(4), 353-357. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.158.4.353

Burger, K. (2010). How does early childhood care and education affect cognitive development? An international review of the effects of early interventions for children from different social backgrounds. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(2), 140–165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2009.11.001

Cardon, G., Van Cauwenberghe, E., Labarque, V., Haerens, L., & De Bourdeaudhuij, I. (2008). The contribution of preschool playground factors in explaining children’s physical activity during recess. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 5(1), 11-16. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-5-11

Carson, V., Hunter, S., Kuzik, N., Wiebe, S. A., Spence, J. C., Friedman, A., … Hinkley, T. (2016). Systematic review of physical activity and cognitive development in early childhood. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19(7), 573–578. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2015.07.011

Carson, V., Lee, E.-Y., Hewitt, L., Jennings, C., Hunter, S., Kuzik, N., et al. (2017). Systematic review of the relationships between physical activity and health indicators in the early years (0-4 years). BMC Public Health, 17(5), 854. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4860-0

Clark, E. M., Ness, A. R., & Tobias, J. H. (2008). Vigorous physical activity increases fracture risk in children irrespective of bone mass: A prospective study of the independent risk factors for fractures in healthy children. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 23(7), 1012–1022. https://doi.org/10.1359/jbmr.080303

Clark, J. E. (2005). From the beginning: A developmental perspective on movement and mobility. Quest, 57(1), 37–45. https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2005.10491841

Coe, D. P. (2020). Means of optimizing physical activity in the preschool environment. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 14(1), 16–23. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827618818419

Coleman, B., & Dyment, J. E. (2013). Factors that limit and enable preschool-aged children’s physical activity on child care centre playgrounds. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 11(3), 203–221. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X12456250

Connelly, J.-A., Champagne, M., & Manningham, S. (2018). Early childhood educators’ perception of their role in children’s physical activity: Do we need to clarify expectations? Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 32(3), 283–294. https://doi.org/10.1080/02568543.2018.1464979

Corcoran, L., & Steinley, K. (2019). Early childhood program participation, from the national household education surveys program of 2016 (NCES 2017-101.REV). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC. https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2017/2017101REV.pdf

Damashek, A., & Kuhn, J. (2013). Toddlers’ unintentional injuries: the role of maternal-reported paternal and maternal supervision. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 38(3), 265–275. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jss113

Davison, K.K., Lawson, C. T. (2006). Do attributes in the physical environment influence children’s physical activity? A review of the literature. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 3(19), 1–17. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-3-19

Dinkel, D., Schaffer, C., Snyder, K., & Lee, J. M. (2017). They just need to move: Teachers’ perception of classroom physical activity breaks. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63, 186–195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.12.020

Eather, N., Morgan, P. J., & Lubans, D. R. (2013). Social support from teachers mediates physical activity behavior change in children participating in the Fit-4-Fun intervention. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10(1), 68. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-68

Fraser-Thomas, J. L., Côté, J., & Deakin, J. (2005). Youth sport programs: An avenue to foster positive youth development. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 10(1), 19–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/1740898042000334890

Gagné, C., & Harnois, I. (2013). The contribution of psychosocial variables in explaining preschoolers’ physical activity. Health Psychology, 32(6), 657–665. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031638

Goldfield, G. S., Harvey, A., Grattan, K., & Adamo, K. B. (2012). Physical activity promotion in the preschool years: A critical period to intervene. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(4), 1326–1342. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph9041326

Gunter, K. B., Rice, K. R., Ward, D. S., & Trost, S. G. (2012). Factors associated with physical activity in children attending family child care homes. Preventive Medicine, 54(2), 131–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.12.002

Hoza, B., Shoulberg, E. K., Tompkins, C. L., Meyer, L. E., Martin, C. P., Krasner, A., et al. (2020). Meeting a physical activity guideline in preschool and school readiness: A program evaluation. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 52(4), 719-727. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-020-01055-9

Jones, R. A., Hinkley, T., Okely, A. D., & Salmon, J. (2013). Tracking physical activity and sedentary behavior in childhood. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(6), 651–658. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2013.03.001

Kirk, S. M., & Kirk, E. P. (2016). Sixty minutes of physical activity per day included within preschool academic lessons improves early literacy. Journal of School Health, 86(3), 155–163. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.12363

Logan, S. W., Robinson, L. E., Wilson, A. E., & Lucas, W. A. (2012). Getting the fundamentals of movement: A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of motor skill interventions in children. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38(3), 305–315. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01307.x

McWilliams, C., Ball, S. C., Benjamin, S. E., Hales, D., Vaughn, A., & Ward, D. S. (2009). Best-Practice guidelines for physical activity at child care. Pediatrics, 124(6), 1650–1659. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2009-0952

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis (2nd ed.). Sage Publications.

Mohamad Khalid, N. H., Ahmad, Y., Mustafa, M., Hashim, A., & Madon, M. S. (2013). Dietary patterns, involvement in physical activity, and the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and physical self-concept among obese children in klang valley area. Southeast Asia Early Childhood Journal, 2, 75-84. https://ejournal.upsi.edu.my/index.php/SAECJ/article/view/938

MoNE (Ministry of National Education). (2013). Preschool education program. Ankara: Ministry of National Education General Directorate of Basic Education. https://mufredat.meb.gov.tr/Dosyalar/20195712275243-okuloncesi_egitimprogrami.pdf

Neshteruk, C. D., Mazzucca, S., Østbye, T., & Ward, D. S. (2018). The physical environment in family childcare homes and children’s physical activity. Child: Care, Health and Development, 44(5), 746–752. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12578

Pate, R. R., Brown, W. H., Pfeiffer, K. A., Howie, E. K., Saunders, R. P., Addy, C. L., & Dowda, M. (2016). An intervention to increase physical activity in children. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51(1), 12–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2015.12.003

Pate, R. R., Hillman, C. H., Janz, K. F., Katzmarzyk, P. T., Powell, K. E., Torres, A., & Whitt-Glover, M. C. (2019). Physical activity and health in children younger than 6 years. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 51(6), 1282–1291. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001940

Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. (2008). Physical activity guidelines advisory committee report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/PAG_Advisory_Committee_Report.pdf

Poitras, V. J., Gray, C. E., Borghese, M. M., Carson, V., Chaput, J.-P., Janssen, I., … Tremblay, M. S. (2016). Systematic review of the relationships between objectively measured physical activity and health indicators in school-aged children and youth. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 41(6 (Suppl. 3)), S197–S239. https://doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2015-0663

Rasberry, C. N., Lee, S. M., Robin, L., Laris, B. A., Russell, L. A., Coyle, K. K., & Nihiser, A. J. (2011). The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance: A systematic review of the literature. Preventive Medicine, 52, S10–S20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.01.027

Razak, L. A., Yoong, S. L., Wiggers, J., Morgan, P. J., Jones, J., Finch, M., … Wolfenden, L. (2018). Impact of scheduling multiple outdoor free-play periods in childcare on child moderate-to-vigorous physical activity: a cluster randomised trial. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15(1), 34. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-018-0665-5

Reedy, J., & Krebs-Smith, S. M. (2010). Dietary sources of energy, solid fats, and added sugars among children and adolescents in the United States. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110(10), 1477–1484. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2010.07.010

Reilly, J. J. (2016). When does it all go wrong? Longitudinal studies of changes in moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity across childhood and adolescence. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 14(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesf.2016.05.002

San, N. M. H., Myint, A. A., & Oo, C. Z. (2021). Using play to improve the social and emotional development of preschool children. Southeast Asia Early Childhood Journal, 10(2), 16-35. https://doi.org/10.37134/saecj.vol10.2.2.2021

Stylianou, M., Kulinna, P. H., & Naiman, T. (2016). ‘…because there’s nobody who can just sit that long.’ European Physical Education Review, 22(3), 390–408. https://doi.org/10.1177/1356336X15613968

Tandon, P. S., Tovar, A., Jayasuriya, A. T., Welker, E., Schober, D. J., Copeland, K. et al. (2016). The relationship between physical activity and diet and young children’s cognitive development: A systematic review. Preventive Medicine Reports, 3, 379–390. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.04.003

Tandon, P., Saelens, B., Zhou, C., & Christakis, D. (2018). A comparison of preschoolers’ physical activity indoors versus outdoors at child care. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(11), 2463. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112463

Tremblay, M., Gray, C., Babcock, S., Barnes, J., Bradstreet, C., Carr, D. et al. (2015). Position statement on active outdoor play. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(6), 6475–6505. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120606475

Tremblay, M. S., LeBlanc, A. G., Carson, V., Choquette, L., Connor Gorber, S., Dillman, C., … Timmons, B. W. (2012). Canadian physical activity guidelines for the early years (aged 0–4 years). Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 37(2), 345–356. https://doi.org/10.1139/h2012-018

Tribolet, K.A. (2020). The provision of movement experiences in Australian early childhood curriculum: Examining educators’ practices and children’s participation in physically active play [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Wollongong.

Vella, S. A., Cliff, D. P., Magee, C. A., & Okely, A. D. (2015). Associations between sports participation and psychological difficulties during childhood: A two-year follow up. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18(3), 304–309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2014.05.006

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). The collected words of L.S. Vygotsky. In R. Rieber & A. Carton (Eds.) Vol. I. Problems of general psychology (pp 37-285). Plenum Press.

Ward, D. S., Neshteruk, C. D., & Mazzucca, S. (2020). Means of optimizing physical activity in the preschool environment: A commentary on Coe (2019). American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 14(1), 28–31. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619881126

Webster, C. A., Russ, L., Vazou, S., Goh, T. L., & Erwin, H. (2015). Integrating movement in academic classrooms: Understanding, applying and advancing the knowledge base. Obesity Reviews, 16(8), 691–701. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12285

WHO. (2011). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical-activity-recommendations-18-64years.pdf

WHO. (2016). Report of the commission on ending childhood obesity. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Document Production Services. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/204176/9789241510066_eng.pdf

Wiersma, R., Lu, C., Hartman, E., & Corpeleijn, E. (2019). Physical activity around the clock: Objectively measured activity patterns in young children of the GECKO Drenthe cohort. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1647. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7926-3

Published
2021-11-23
How to Cite
Senol, F. B. (2021). Physical activity and preschool children: Preschool teachers’ perceptions. Southeast Asia Early Childhood Journal, 10(2), 132-146. https://doi.org/10.37134/saecj.vol10.2.9.2021