Publication Details

Ellis, Y. G., Cliff, D. P. & Okely, A. D. (2017). Childcare Educators' Perceptions of and Solutions to Reducing Sitting Time in Young Children: A Qualitative Study. Early Childhood Education Journal, Online first 1-9.


Young children spend a high proportion of their time at childcare sitting. Reducing sitting time or breaking up prolonged periods of sitting may be positively associated with health outcomes among children. The purpose of this study was to identify childcare educators¿ perceptions of what environmental and policy modifications could be made within early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings to reduce sitting time among children during childcare. Eighty-seven educators from 11 ECEC centres participated in 11 focus groups between September 2013 and November 2013. Each focus group was audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A semi-structured schedule was developed to investigate the educators¿ perceptions of the influences on children¿s sitting time at childcare. A problem¿solution tree was developed to determine potential solutions for reducing total and prolonged sitting time in young children at childcare. Most educators were unaware of the high levels of sitting time among young children. Educators identified that childcare practices, the physical environment and the weather were factors that influenced children¿s sitting time. Potential solutions to reduce sitting time were to break-up prolonged sitting time by using movement breaks, standing desks, movement transitions between activities, relocating key facilities around the space to promote movement, and integrating movement during learning activities. Also, educators suggested that posters could be used to increase awareness among educators about the benefits of reducing sitting time. Educators identified key practices that could be modified to reduce young children¿s sitting time in childcare. These potential solutions should be evaluated to understand their effectiveness.



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