The Opportunity to Choose the Activity Context Does Not Increase Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity Exhibited by Preschool Children
Physical activity is essential for children and adults to counteract the negative health outcomes related to a sedentary lifestyle. Despite widely publicized recommendations and information about physical activity, the problem of excessive physical inactivity prevails in our society. The purpose of this study was to conduct a context functional analysis to identify outdoor activity contexts that engendered higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) using an ABAB reversal design to determine if the opportunity to choose the activity context would influence MVPA exhibited by six preschool-aged children. Results of the context functional analysis showed that fixed equipment and open space engendered highest levels of MVPA in most participants. Levels of MVPA in the reversal design indicated that choice did not significantly influence levels of MVPA and that active and sedentary choices varied between and within participants. These results suggest that related to levels of MVPA the type of outdoor activity context chosen is more important than the individual who chooses it.