Research Article  |   January 2013
Effectiveness of a Physical Activity Intervention for Head Start Preschoolers: A Randomized Intervention Study
Author Affiliations
  • Laura L. Bellows, PhD, MPH, RD, is Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1571; laura.bellows@colostate.edu
  • Patricia L. Davies, PhD, OTR, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • Jennifer Anderson, PhD, RD, is Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • Catherine Kennedy, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
Article Information
Early Intervention / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   January 2013
Effectiveness of a Physical Activity Intervention for Head Start Preschoolers: A Randomized Intervention Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2013, Vol. 67, 28-36. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005777
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2013, Vol. 67, 28-36. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005777
Abstract

OBJECTIVES. The level of children’s motor skill proficiency may be an important determinant of their physical activity behaviors. This study assessed the efficacy of an intervention on gross motor skill performance, physical activity, and weight status of preschoolers.

METHOD. The Food Friends: Get Movin’ With Mighty Moves® program was conducted in four Head Start centers. Measurements included the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, pedometer counts, and body mass index (BMI) z scores.

RESULTS. The intervention led to significant changes in gross motor skills in the treatment group (n = 98) compared with the control group (n = 103) and was a strong predictor of overall gross motor performance (gross motor quotient), locomotor, stability, and object manipulation skills. No intervention effect was found for physical activity levels or weight status.

CONCLUSION. The intervention dose was adequate for enhancing gross motor skill performance but not for increasing physical activity levels or reducing BMI.