Full-text resources of PSJD and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


Preferences help
enabled [disable] Abstract
Number of results
2014 | 6 | 3 | 171-182

Article title

Comparing the physical activity patterns of 3-year-old Finnish and Australian children during childcare and homecare days


Title variants

Languages of publication



Background: Limited previous research has contrasted physical activity (PA) patterns in preschool children across different hourly patterns or segments of day, or adopted similar methodologies to compare the PA behaviors of children from different countries. The purpose of this study was to examine how the PA levels and patterns differed between 3- year-olds within and between childcare and homecare days in Finland and Australia. Material/Methods: ActiGraph GT3X accelerometers were used to monitor 121 (80 Finnish, 41 Australian) children’s PA for five consecutive days. Results: No significant country differences were observed in children’s daily total PA (light-tovigorous PA [LMVPA]), except that during childcare days Finnish children spent more time in light PA compared to Australian children. During childcare attendance hours children engaged in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) for an average of 48 minutes (SD = 24) covering 54% of their daily MVPA in Finland, and for 53 minutes (SD = 34) covering 64% of their daily MVPA in Australia. Variation in children’s hour-by-hour PA was more pronounced during childcare days than homecare days. Conclusions: Despite the variations based on cultural practices, no major differences were observed in children’s daily total PA between the countries. However, these findings provide a better understanding of 3-year-olds’ PA behavior patterns and will serve as valuable evidence for the development of PA promotion in preschool children in both Finland and in Australia.









Physical description


1 - 10 - 2014
1 - 5 - 2014
1 - 6 - 2014
15 - 11 - 2014


  • University of Jyväskylä, Department of Education, Early Childhood Education, Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Victoria University, College of Education, Melbourne, Australia
  • LIKES – Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland
  • University of Jyväskylä, Department of Sport Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland
  • University of Jyväskylä, Department of Sport Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland
  • University of Jyväskylä, Department of Health Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland


  • 1. Timmons BW, Naylor PJ, Pfeiffer KA. Physical activity for preschool children - how much and how? Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2007;32:122-134.[Crossref]
  • 2. Ward DS, Vaughn A, McWilliams C, Hales D. Interventions for increasing physical activity at childcare. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42:526-534.[Crossref][WoS]
  • 3. Singh AS, Mulder C, Twisk JWR, van Mechelen W, Chin A Paw MJM. Tracking of childhood overweight into adulthood: a systematic review of the literature. Obes rev. 2008;9:474-488.[Crossref]
  • 4. Strong WB, Malina RM, Blimkie CR, Daniels SR, Dishman RK, Gutin B. Evidence based physical activity for school-age youth. J Pediatr. 2005;146:732-737.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • 5. Biddle SJH, Pearson N, Ross GM, Braithwaite R. Tracking of sedentary behaviours of young people: A systematic review. Prev Med. 2010;51:345-351.[PubMed][Crossref][WoS]
  • 6. Jones RA, Hinkley T, Okely AD, Salmon J. Tracking physical activity and sedentary behaviour in childhood. A systematic review. Am J Prev Med. 2013;44(6):651-658.[Crossref][WoS][PubMed]
  • 7. World Health Organization (WHO). Population-based approaches to childhood obesity prevention. 2012. Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 8. Oliver M, Schofield GM, Kolt GS. Physical activity in preschoolers. Understanding prevalence and measurement issues. Sports Med. 2007;37:1045-1070.[PubMed][Crossref][WoS]
  • 9. Reilly JJ. Low levels of objectively measured physical activity in preschoolers in child care. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42:502-507.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • 10. Tucker P. The physical activity levels of preschool-aged children: A Systematic Review. Early Child Res Q. 2008;23:547-558.[WoS][Crossref]
  • 11. OECD Family Database. [http://www.oecd.org/els/social/family/database] Published 2008. Updated June 2011. [Accessed June 2, 2012]
  • 12. Finn KJ, Johannsen N, Specker B. Factors associated with physical activity in preschool children. J Pediatr. 2002;140:81-85.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • 13. Pate RR, McIver K, Dowda M, Brown WH, Addy C. Directly observed physical activity levels in preschool children. J Sch Health. 2008;78(8):438-444.[PubMed][WoS][Crossref]
  • 14. Ward DS. Physical activity in young children: The role of child care. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42:499-501.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • 15. Hinkley T, Crawford D, Salmon J, Okely AD, Hesketh K. Preschool children and physical activity. Am J Prev Med. 2008;34:435-441.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • 16. Raustorp A, Pagels P, Boldemann C, Cosco N, Söderström M, Mårtensson F. Accelerometer measured level of physical activity indoors and outdoors during preschool time in Sweden and the United States. J Phys Act. 2012;9:801-808.
  • 17. Cliff DP, Reilly JJ, Okely AD. Methodological considerations in using accelerometers to assess habitual physical activity in children aged 0-5 years. J Med Sci Sports. 2009;12:557-567.[Crossref][WoS]
  • 18. Pate RR, O´Neill JR, Mitchell J. Measurement of physical activity in preschool children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42:508-512.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • 19. Bornstein DB, Beets MW, Byun W, McIver K. Accelerometer-derived physical activity levels of preschoolers: A meta-analysis. J Sci Med Sport. 2011;14:504-511.[PubMed][Crossref]
  • 20. Van Cauwenberghe E, Labarque V, Trost S, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Cardon G. Calibration and comparison of accelerometer cut points in preschool children. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011;6:e582-e589.[Crossref][WoS]
  • 21. Van Cauwenberghe E, Jones R, Hinkley T, Crawford D, Okely AD. Patterns of physical activity and sedentary behavior in preschool children. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012;9:138. Available from: [http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/9/1/138] [Accessed November 20, 2013][Crossref]
  • 22. Verbestel V, Van Cauwenberghe E, De Coen V, Maes L, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Cardon G. Within- and between-day variability of objectively measured physical activity in pre-schoolers. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2011;23:366-378.
  • 23. Pate RR, Almeida AJ, McIver KL, Pfeiffer KA, Dowda M. Validation and calibration of an accelerometer in preschool children. Obesity. 2006;14(11):2000-6.[PubMed]
  • 24. Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing. Physical activity recommendations for children 0-5 years. [http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/health-pubhlth-strategphys- act-guidelines#rec_0_5] Published 2010. [Accessed August 28, 2012]
  • 25. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian physical activity guidelines and Canadian sedentary behavior guidelines. [http://www.csep.ca/CMFiles/Guidelines/CSEP-InfoSheets-early-years- ENG.pdf] Published 2012. [Accessed August 28, 2012]
  • 26. Department of Health. UK physical activity guidelines. [http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_127 931] Published July 2011. [Accessed August 28, 2012]
  • 27. Institute of Medicine (IOM). Early childhood obesity prevention: policies goals, recommendations, and potential actions. [http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Early-Childhood-Obesity-Prevention- Policies/Recommendations.aspx] Published June 2011. [Accessed September 4, 2012]
  • 28. Recommendations for Physical Activity in Early Childhood Education (2005). Handbooks of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2005:17.
  • 29. World Health Organization (WHO). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. 2010. Geneva. Switzerland.
  • 30. Janssen X, Cliff DP, Reilly JJ et al. Predictive validity and classification accuracy of ActiGraph energy expenditure equations and cut-points in young children. Plos One. 2013;8(11):e79124. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079124.[Crossref]
  • 31. National Institute for Health and Welfare. Statistical report. [http://www.thl.fi/fi_FI/web/fi/tilastot/aiheittain/lasten_sosiaalipalvelut/paivahoito] Published 2012. [Accessed June 13, 2013]
  • 32. Weather Underground. Weather History & Data Archive available at: [www.wunderground.com/history] [Accessed May 30, 2013]
  • 33. Cardon G, De Bourdeaudhuij I. Are preschool children active enough? Objectively measured physical activity levels. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2008;79:326-332.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • 34. Fisher A, Reilly JJ, Montgomery C et al. Seasonality in physical activity and sedentary behavior in young children. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2005;17:31-40.
  • 35. Jackson DM, Reilly JJ, Kelly LA, Montgomery C, Grant S, Paton JY. Objectively measured physical activity in a representative sample of 3- to 4-year-old children. Obes Res. 2003;11:420-425.[Crossref]
  • 36. Reilly JJ, Jackson DM, Montgomery C, et al. Total energy expenditure and physical activity in young Scottish children: mixed longitudinal study. Lancet. 2004;9494:211-212.[Crossref]
  • 37. Pate RR, Pfeiffer KA, Trost SG, Ziegler P, Dowda M. Physical activity among children attending preschools. Pediatrics. 2004;114:1258-1263. [PubMed][Crossref]
  • 38. Brown WH, Pfeiffer KA, McIver KL, Dowda M, Addy CL, Pate RR. Social and environmental factors associated with preschoolers’ nonsedentary physical activity. Child Dev. 2009;80:45-48.[Crossref][PubMed][WoS]
  • 39. Gubbels JS, Kremers SPJ, Van Kann DHH et al. Interaction between physical environment, social environment, and child characteristics in determining physical activity at child care. Health Psychol. 2011;30:84-90.[Crossref][PubMed]
  • 40. Cardon G, Van Cauwenberghe E, Labarque V, Haerens L, De Bourdeaudhuij I. The contribution of preschool playground factors in explaining children’s physical activity during recess. Int J B Nutr Phys Act. 2008;5.[Crossref][WoS]
  • 41. Boldeman C, Blennow M, Dal H, et al. Impact of preschool environment upon children’s physical activity and sun exposure. Prev Med. 2006;42:301-308.[Crossref]
  • 42. Trost SG, Fees B, Dzewaltowski D. Feasibility and efficacy of a “move and learn” physical activity curriculum in preschool children. J Phys Act Health. 2008;5:88-103.[PubMed]
  • 43. Matthews CE, Hagströmer M, Pober DM, Bowles HR. Best practices for using physical activity monitors in population-based research. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44: S68-S76. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182399e5b. [Crossref]

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.