Title

The Opportunity to Choose the Activity Context Does Not Increase Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity Exhibited by Preschool Children

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Psychological Record

Department

Psychology

ISSN

0033-2933

Volume

67

Issue

2

DOI

10.1007/s40732-017-0242-3

First Page

189

Last Page

196

Publication Date

June 2017

Abstract

Physical activity is essential for children and adults to counteract the negative health outcomes related to a sedentary lifestyle. Despite widely publicized recommendations and information about physical activity, the problem of excessive physical inactivity prevails in our society. The purpose of this study was to conduct a context functional analysis to identify outdoor activity contexts that engendered higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) using an ABAB reversal design to determine if the opportunity to choose the activity context would influence MVPA exhibited by six preschool-aged children. Results of the context functional analysis showed that fixed equipment and open space engendered highest levels of MVPA in most participants. Levels of MVPA in the reversal design indicated that choice did not significantly influence levels of MVPA and that active and sedentary choices varied between and within participants. These results suggest that related to levels of MVPA the type of outdoor activity context chosen is more important than the individual who chooses it.

Comments

This article is based on a thesis submitted by the first author, under the supervision of the second author, to the University of the Pacific in partial fulfillment for the requirements of the Master of Arts degree in psychology.