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Physical Activity in Young Children: The Role of Child Care


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: March 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 3 - p 499-501
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181ce9f85

Young children's regular participation in physical activity is important not only to prevent excess weight gain and avoid chronic health problems but also to promote optimal physical, social, and psychological development. Given the large number of children enrolled in some form of out-of-home child care, this setting holds great potential to make important contributions to the welfare and health of young children, including the promotion of physical activity. The five articles included in this series were originally presented as a symposium at the 2008 American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. Papers review the current evidence on levels of physical activity at child care, techniques for measuring physical activity in this setting, use of outdoor space for physical activity, the influence of child care environment and policies on children's activity, and child care-based physical activity intervention strategies.

Department of Nutrition and Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

Address for correspondence: Dianne S. Ward, Ed.D., Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, 1700 Martin L. King Jr. Blvd., CB#7426, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7426; E-mail:

Submitted for publication December 2008.

Accepted for publication March 2009.

©2010The American College of Sports Medicine