26th Jun 2023

The World Health Organization released guidelines on physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviour (SB), and sleep for the early years with the aim of improving health and developmental outcomes in young children. Several studies have reported the adherence to these movement guidelines but very little is known about the levels of adherence to these guidelines in Scotland. The purpose of this study was to conduct a pilot study examining adherence to the 24hr movement guidelines among preschoolers in Scotland.
A total of 56 preschoolers (aged 3 to 4.9y) from Scotland were recruited in this cross-sectional study. Each participant was asked to wear an ActiGraph accelerometer on the waist for a minimum of 4 days. Parent/guardians of the participating children were asked to provide data on their child’s screen time, sleep and whether children were restrained for >1hr at a time. Meeting the 24-h movement guidelines was defined according to the WHO guidelines. Descriptive analysis was used to present the number and percentage of children meeting the guidelines.
The proportion of children who met the PA, SB, and sleep guidelines were 43.2% (n = 19), 11.9% (n = 5), and 91.3% (n = 42), respectively. For the combination of guidelines, 31.3% (n=15) of the participating children met the PA and sleep guidelines combined but very few met the PA and SB guidelines (4.4%), as well as the sleep and SB guidelines (11.1%). Overall, none of the participants met all movement guidelines combined.
This is a small study, but it suggests that programs to promote pre-schoolers adherence to the 24hr movement guidelines in should be developed.

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