Toddler Activity Intensity During Indoor Free-Play: Stand and Watch.

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    • Abstract:
      Objective: Movement patterns among toddlers (16–36 months) differ from other early developmental periods; toddlers practice coordination, balance, and control. Toddler care environments may afford repetition of these emerging skills. This study examined intensity and type of movements during free-play indoors in child care among toddlers. Methods: A convenience sample (n, 41; mean, 26.5 months) was observed for intensity of physical activity (PA), motor activity type, activity context, and teacher prompts in center-based care using a modified version of the Observational System for Recording Physical Activity for Children–Preschool. Results: The most frequent PA intensity level was sedentary with limb movement. No significant gender differences emerged. Standing, sitting/squatting, and walking were the most frequent activity types. Dominant activity contexts included fine motor manipulative, self-care, and onlooking. Logistic regression results indicated that onlooking significantly decreased the odds of moderate to vigorous PA. Teachers offered few prompts to increase PA. Conclusions and Implications: Toddlers demonstrate predominantly sedentary behaviors during free-play. Further observational research across the entire day is warranted to accurately assess intensity and teacher's support for moderate to vigorous PA. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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