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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 96, Issue 4, pp 299–303 | Cite as

Preschoolers’ Physical Activity Behaviours

Parents’ Perspectives
  • Jennifer D. IrwinEmail author
  • Meizi He
  • L. Michelle Sangster Bouck
  • Patricia Tucker
  • Graham L. Pollett
Article

Abstract

Objectives

To understand parents’ perspectives of their preschoolers’ physical activity behaviours.

Methods

A maximum variation sample of 71 parents explored their preschoolers’ physical activity behaviours through 10 semi-structured focus group discussions.

Results

Parents perceived Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Children as inadequate; that their preschoolers get and need more than 30–90 minutes of activity daily; and that physical activity habits must be established during the preschool years. Nine barriers against and facilitators toward adequate physical activity were proposed: child’s age, weather, daycare, siblings, finances, time, society and safety, parents’ impact, and child’s activity preferences.

Discussion

The need for education and interventions that address current barriers are essential for establishing physical activity as a lifestyle behaviour during early childhood and, consequently, helping to prevent both childhood and adulthood obesity.

MeSH terms

Children preschool motor activity obesity primary prevention 

Résumé

Objectifs

Comprendre le point de vue des parents sur les habitudes d’activité physique de leurs enfants d’âge préscolaire.

Méthode

Soixante-et-onze parents composant un échantillon le plus variable possible ont analysé les habitudes d’activité physique de leurs enfants d’âge préscolaire au sein de 10 groupes d’entretien en profondeur semi-structurés.

Résultats

Selon les parents, le Guide d’activité physique canadien pour les jeunes et les enfants est insuffisant. Les parents ont par ailleurs indiqué que leurs enfants d’âge préscolaire faisaient plus de 30 à 90 minutes d’activité par jour, qu’ils avaient besoin de ce niveau d’activité, et que c’est à l’âge préscolaire que s’acquièrent les bonnes habitudes d’activité physique. Ils ont cerné neuf facteurs qui facilitent ou font obstacle à une activité physique adéquate: l’âge de l’enfant, les conditions météorologiques, la garderie, les frères et sours, les moyens financiers, le temps, la sécurité du milieu de vie, l’influence des parents et les activités préférées de l’enfant.

Discussion

La sensibilisation et les interventions qui tiennent compte des obstacles courants sont deux éléments indispensables à l’acquisition de bonnes habitudes d’activité physique dès la petite enfance. Ces deux éléments peuvent donc aussi aider à prévenir l’obésité, depuis l’enfance jusqu’à l’âge adulte.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer D. Irwin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Meizi He
    • 2
    • 3
  • L. Michelle Sangster Bouck
    • 2
  • Patricia Tucker
    • 1
  • Graham L. Pollett
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.The Public Health ResearchEducation and Development Program (PHRED) Middlesex-London Health UnitCanada
  3. 3.Brescia University CollegeLondonCanada
  4. 4.Middlesex-London Health UnitCanada

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