Research Study Abstract

Determinants of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Toddlers

  • Presented on May 29, 2014

Background: Understanding the factors that influence physical activity can aid in the design of more effective interventions to promote physical activity and reduce obesity in children. While a plethora of data exists for preschoolers, data on toddlers are limited.

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to predict factors that influence light physical activity (LPA), moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior (SB) in toddlers from Ventura County.

Methods: Participants were 9 families and toddlers (5 boys and 4 girls) aged 12-36 months recruited from childcare facilities and homes around Ventura County. Total physical activity was measured for 7 consecutive days using the Actigraph GT1X accelerometer. Age specific cut-points were used to identify time spent engaged at different physical activity intensities and sedentary behavior. Data on determinants were collected using a previously published questionnaire by Sallis et al (2002).

Results: Toddlers spent a total of 3909 ±1510 minutes per week engaged in total physical activity. Time spent in SB was 48.7 ± 17.4%, 1.2 ± 0.3% for LPA and 43.7 ± 7.2 for MVPA. Demographic, environmental, and psychosocial factors did not significantly predict SB, LPA or MVPA (p.0.05).

Conclusions: Results from the current study suggest that determinants of toddlers’ physical activity and sedentary behavior may not be predicable. However, as our sample size was very small these results should be viewed with caution. Future studies with a much larger sample size are clearly warranted.

This study was funded by the Swenson Summer Research Fellowship

Presented at

ACSM 2014 Annual Meeting