Under the global concerns of physical inactivity and the continued growth in the prevalence of childhood obesity, a better understanding of the determinants associated with physical activity (PA) behaviours in preschool children are essential for early prevention and health promotion. In a review, we found that Chinese children were inactive and that little is known about environmental correlates of PA in China (Chapter 2). In this thesis, we identified environmental correlates of PA behaviours in both Dutch and Chinese preschoolers. We found that in both groups, built environmental correlates such as the accessibility of recreational facilities could have a positive influence on preschoolers’ PA, partly indirectly through parental help with engaging in active behaviours (Chapter 3 & 4). To gain more insight in windows of opportunity to stimulate PA, we analyzed the distribution of accelerometry-derived PA and sedentary behaviours throughout the day (Chapter 5 & 6) and its relevance to childhood overweight. We found that the Chinese preschoolers affected by overweight were more sedentary overall compared to preschoolers with no overweight (Chapter 5), but no evidence was found to support that PA behaviours throughout the day were relevant to weight status in Dutch preschoolers (Chapter 6). We suggest that for less active children and children affected by overweight, PA promotion and intervention should start in preschool years, and an effective strategy should involve children and their caregivers, school administrators and teachers, as well as policy makers in ministries of health, education and urban planning.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||[Groningen]|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|