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Stanley (2016) BMC Phys Activity.pdf (1.51 MB)

Increasing physical activity among young children from disadvantaged communities: study protocol of a group randomised controlled effectiveness trial

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posted on 2021-01-22, 01:23 authored by RM Stanley, RA Jones, DP Cliff, SG Trost, D Berthelsen, J Salmon, M Batterham, S Eckermann, JJ Reilly, N Brown, Karen MickleKaren Mickle, SJ Howard, T Hinkley, X Janssen, P Chandler, P Cross, F Gowers, AD Okely
© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Participation in regular physical activity (PA) during the early years helps children achieve healthy body weight and can substantially improve motor development, bone health, psychosocial health and cognitive development. Despite common assumptions that young children are naturally active, evidence shows that they are insufficiently active for health and developmental benefits. Exploring strategies to increase physical activity in young children is a public health and research priority. Methods: Jump Start is a multi-component, multi-setting PA and gross motor skill intervention for young children aged 3-5 years in disadvantaged areas of New South Wales, Australia. The intervention will be evaluated using a two-arm, parallel group, randomised cluster trial. The Jump Start protocol was based on Social Cognitive Theory and includes five components: a structured gross motor skill lesson (Jump In); unstructured outdoor PA and gross motor skill time (Jump Out); energy breaks (Jump Up); activities connecting movement to learning experiences (Jump Through); and a home-based family component to promote PA and gross motor skill (Jump Home). Early childhood education and care centres will be demographically matched and randomised to Jump Start (intervention) or usual practice (comparison) group. The intervention group receive Jump Start professional development, program resources, monthly newsletters and ongoing intervention support. Outcomes include change in total PA (accelerometers) within centre hours, gross motor skill development (Test of Gross Motor Development-2), weight status (body mass index), bone strength (Sunlight MiniOmni Ultrasound Bone Sonometer), self-regulation (Heads-Toes-Knees-Shoulders, executive function tasks, and proxy-report Temperament and Approaches to learning scales), and educator and parent self-efficacy. Extensive quantitative and qualitative process evaluation and a cost-effectiveness evaluation will be conducted. Discussion: The Jump Start intervention is a unique program to address low levels of PA and gross motor skill proficiency, and support healthy lifestyle behaviours among young children in disadvantaged communities. If shown to be efficacious, the Jump Start approach can be expected to have implications for early childhood education and care policies and practices, and ultimately a positive effect on the health and development across the life course. Trial registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12614000597695, first received: June 5, 2014.


This study is supported by a National health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant (2014-2017; ID1062433). DPC is supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE140101588). JS is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council principal Research Fellowship (APP1026216). TH is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship (APP1070571). ADO is supported by a National Heart Foundation of Australia Career Development Fellowship (CR11S 6099). The funding body played no role in the study design; data collection, analysis, and interpretation; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.


Publication Date



BMC Public Health





Article Number



13p. (p. 1-13)


Springer Nature



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