Moreira, Mariana, et al. Quality of the Opportunities for Preschoolers’ Physical Activity In Portuguese Kindergartens. MDPI, 2023. https://doi.org/10.17615/8bwe-t285
Moreira, M., Veiga, G., Lopes, F., Hales, D., & Cordovil, R. (2023). Quality of the Opportunities for Preschoolers’ Physical Activity in Portuguese Kindergartens. MDPI. https://doi.org/10.17615/8bwe-t285
Moreira, Mariana, Guida Veiga, Frederico Lopes, Derek Hales, and Rita Cordovil. 2023. Quality of the Opportunities for Preschoolers’ Physical Activity In Portuguese Kindergartens. MDPI. https://doi.org/10.17615/8bwe-t285
Affiliation: UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Other Affiliation: Universidade de Lisboa
Kindergarten’s physical and social environment influences preschoolers’ physical activity (PA) and impacts their development. This study aimed first to describe the quality of the opportunities provided by the physical attributes and social guidelines to promote PA and, second, to investigate the relationship between design attributes and daily practices to support PA in sixteen Portuguese kindergartens (15 public). The Children’s Physical Environment Rating Scale was used to rate the quality of the design attributes. Sixteen directors and teachers filled out surveys to quantify the equipment available and assess the quality of the written policies and daily practices to promote PA. Correlations between design attributes and daily practices to support PA were analyzed. The results emphasize the need for improvements in indoor settings that facilitate a wide range of gross motor activities for children. Similarly, outdoor environments should be designed to enable play opportunities regardless of weather conditions, encouraging children to engage in diverse and challenging physical activities. Providing more times per year for teachers’ PA training is also necessary. The design attributes and daily practices to support children’s PA were related. In kindergartens with a room only for PA, children spent less time sitting and more time in teacher-led PA. In kindergartens with large and challenging outdoor areas, children engaged in more intense PA. However, having a roofed protection area outdoors was not sufficient to decrease indoor sitting time. These findings highlight the need for ongoing review and assessment of the physical and social environment in kindergartens to ensure preschoolers have the best opportunities for PA.