Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Background: High levels of physical activity (PA) and low levels of sedentary behaviour (SB) are important for children’s health and wellbeing. Many children attend early childhood education and care (ECEC), yet in these settings many children are not meeting recommended guidelines for PA and SB. ECEC settings are complex environments, with a number of potential factors influencing PA and SB of young children. Aim: The aim of this thesis was to investigate the relationship between selected ECEC-related factors and children’s PA and SB whilst in ECEC. Methods: A systematic review on the correlates of children's PA and SB in ECEC was conducted. An observation study was then undertaken to examine the relationship between ECEC-related factors including routines, time spent in outdoor environments, size of outdoor environment, and educator behaviours and children’s PA and SB. Children and educators in ECEC were recruited from the Illawarra region of NSW, Australia in 2015. The observation study used Actigraph accelerometers to objectively measure PA and SB, the Classroom Assessment and Scoring System (CLASS) to measure the quality of educator and child interactions, and surveys to collect descriptive data and information about the experiences of educators. The ECEC routine and the time spent in outdoor environments was collected through observation of centre programs and direct observation each day. Data were analysed using linear regression models examining the association between children’s PA, SB and routine, time in outdoor environments, size of the outdoor environments and educator PA and SB.


"Thesis by publication"



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.