Influence of nature contact on PA in early childhood education and care (ECEC)
ISPAH ePoster Library. Christian H. Oct 15, 2018; 225144
Hayley Christian
Hayley Christian
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Abstract
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Abstract Introduction:<\b>
Natural outdoor experiences are associated with children developing a sense of identity, autonomy, psychological resilience, self-regulation, gross motor skills and healthy behaviours. This study investigated the relationship between nature contact within and surrounding ECEC centres and children’s PA. Methods:<\b>
The Play Spaces & Environments for Children's Physical Activity (PLAYCE) Study collected 7 day accelerometer data from 1762 pre-schoolers attending ECEC (n=118) in Perth, Australia. Audits collected data on natural environmental features (mature trees, shrubs/bushes, natural/artificial grass, edible gardens, flower beds). Access to green space within 500m of each centre was calculated using the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Results:<\b>
Artificial grass was present in 66% of centres and many had no mature trees (37%), shrubs/bushes (35%), edible gardens (45%) or flower beds (67%). Each additional 10 shrubs/bushes and edible gardens were associated with 2-6 mins less MVPA per day at ECEC. The presence of natural and artificial grass (fake>artificial) and flower beds were associated with more PA per day at ECEC. The NDVI and educator-reported use of nearby green space was not associated with PA whilst at ECEC. Conclusion:<\b>
Some natural features in ECEC were not conducive to PA while others were positively associated with PA. The relationship between nature contact and children’s health may be dependent on the context and outcome of interest. Future research should investigate the interplay between natural features, PA and other health and development indicators in children attending ECEC. External funding details The PLAYCE Study is supported by the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation (Healthway; #24219).
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