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Research Article Open Access
Background: This study examined the impact of short activity breaks in preschool children. The hypotheses were that preschool children receiving three five-minute activity breaks per day would increase (a) school time physical activity and (b) education scores compared to a control group not receiving the intervention. Methods: For 8 weeks, the Intervention Group (n = 13) incorporated three 5-minute activity breaks into their classroom time while the Control Group (n = 12) did not incorporate the activity breaks. Physical activity was measured using a triaxial accelerometer. Education was assessed using standardized methods. Findings: After 8 weeks, the preschool children in the Intervention Group increased their school time physical activity from 11,641 ± (SD) 1,368 Acceleration Units (AU)/hour to 16,058 ± 2,253 AU/hour (P < 0.001). The children in the control group did not increase their physical activity (11,379 ± 2,427 cf 11,624 ± 2,441; ns). Students in the Intervention Group improved their education scores more than students in the control group (18 ± 12 cf 8 ± 7 points, P = 0.01); Letter Recognition improved in particular (9 ± 6 cf 2 ± 4 points, P = 0.001). Conclusions: The incorporation of three 5-minute activity breaks was associated with increased school time physical activity and improved learning.
Eating behavior in children, Child nutrition, Weight management