Relationship Between Child Care Center's Compliance With Physical Activity Regulations and Children's Physical Activity, New York City, 2010

Young children playing outside on playground at school.

New York City child care centers who were compliant with the regulation of obtaining a minimum of 60 minutes of total physical activity per day was positively associated with children’s levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA).

The Issue:
Physical activity is an important component in protecting against overweight and obesity. This study specifically focused on whether children in New York City group child care centers that are compliant with the city’s regulations on child physical activity engage in more activity than children in centers who do not comply.

Key Findings:        

  • Centers who were compliant with the regulation of obtaining a minimum of 60 minutes of total physical activity per day were positively associated with children’s levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
  • Compliance with the regulation of obtaining at least 30 minutes of structured activity was not associated, however, with increased levels of MVPA.
  • Children in centers with dedicated outdoor play space available spent more time in MVPA.

Conclusion:
Both time and type of activity should be considered when aiming to increases children’s level of MVPA in child care.

About the Study:
A study included a sample of 1,352 children served by 110 group childcare centers in low-income neighborhoods. Accelerometers measured duration and intensity of physical activity. Children’s anthropometric data was also collected.