What is the impact of professional learning on physical activity interventions among preschool children? A systematic review
The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate professional learning models (length, mode, content) offered as part of objectively measured physical childcare-based interventions. A systematic review of eight electronic databases was conducted to June 2017. Only English, peer-reviewed studies that evaluated childcare-based physical activity interventions, incorporated professional learning and reported objectively measured physical activity were included. Study designs included randomized controlled trails, cluster randomized trials, experimental or pilot studies. The search identified 11 studies. Ten studies objectively measured physical activity using accelerometers; five studies used both accelerometer and direct observation tools and one study measured physical activity using direct observation only. Seven of these studies reported statistically significant intervention effects. Only six studies described all components of professional learning, but only two studies reported specific professional learning outcomes and physical activity outcomes. No patterns were identified between the length, mode and content of professional learning and children's physical activity outcomes in childcare settings. Educators play a critical role in modifying children's levels of physical activity in childcare settings. The findings of this review suggest that professional learning offered as part of a physical activity intervention that potentially impacts on children's physical activity outcomes remains under-reported.