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Child Physical Activity and Health

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health-Related Quality of Life".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 35107

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown how important it is to take care of one's own and public health. In most cases, health problems have their origins in childhood, when lifestyle behaviors are formed. Unfortunately, for many years, unhealthy behaviors have been observed among school children, such as a decrease in the level of physical activity and an unhealthy diet. This results in an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among school-age children. This is accompanied by an increase in blood pressure, impaired carbohydrate metabolism, a decline in fitness and physical condition, and many other health problems. These, if not corrected in time, have a negative impact on health in adulthood. The major challenge is to enhance health and immunity also by diagnosnig health problems dependent on lifestyle in the school child population and implement effective actions to correct these errors and shape pro-health behavior. This is important for every individual, as well as for public health. It requires a great deal of work and presents an opportunity for interesting and necessary research for scientists in the fields of physical fitness, dietetics, education, medicine, public health, and others. We expect that many interesting works will be created in this respect, the results of which will be disseminated and published in this Special Issue. Papers addressing these topics are invited for this Special Issue, especially those combining a high academic standard coupled with a practical focus on providing pro-healthy lifestyle recommendations and solutions.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Future.   

Prof. Dr. Wojciech Kolanowski
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • childhood
  • diet
  • fitness
  • health
  • life style
  • obesity
  • physical activity

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 893 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Children’s Fundamental Motor Skills: A Study for the Taiwanese Preschoolers Teachers
by Shu-Yu Cheng, Hsia-Ling Tai and Tsung-Teng Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(18), 6764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20186764 - 15 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in reduced opportunities for children to engage in fundamental motor skills [FMS]. This prolonged inactivity and restriction of play can have serious consequences for children’s physical and mental health. The purpose of this study was [...] Read more.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in reduced opportunities for children to engage in fundamental motor skills [FMS]. This prolonged inactivity and restriction of play can have serious consequences for children’s physical and mental health. The purpose of this study was to explore teaching strategies during the pandemic, whether there were differences in children’s motor development, and the differences in the implementation of physical movement courses before and during the pandemic from the perspective of preschool teachers. This study was a retrospective study using an internet survey, and participants comprised 2337 preschool teachers. The statistical methodology of this study included descriptive statistics, the dependent t-test, and the independent t-test. The results showed that regardless of the time, frequency, activity intensity, and frequency of outdoor courses, the results from before the pandemic was better than those taken during the pandemic. Only the “frequency of implementing physical movement courses indoors every week” had not been affected by the pandemic. This study also obtained the performance of “children’s fitness”, “overall performance of physical movement ability”, “stability movement skills”, “locomotor movement skills”, and “manipulative movement skills”. All were better before the pandemic than during the pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, mixed-age classes performed better than same-age classes in terms of frequency, time, intensity, outdoor course implementation, and physical fitness. Public schools performed better than private schools in terms of frequency, time, intensity, outdoor course implementation, and fundamental motor skills performance. Private schools implemented physical movement courses indoors every week, which was more than public schools. Excepting the frequency of implementing physical movement courses indoors every week, fewer than schools with five classes performed better than those who had more than schools with six classes. Finally, rural schools were better than urban schools in the implementation of outdoor courses and fundamental motor skills performance. Therefore, we suggest that in response to the pandemic, teachers should further improve their professionalism and use diversified teaching methods, and guide students to be willing to learn and improve their skill performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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12 pages, 674 KiB  
Article
Sedentary Behaviour and Telomere Length Shortening during Early Childhood: Evidence from the Multicentre Prospective INMA Cohort Study
by Daniel Prieto-Botella, Dries S. Martens, Desiree Valera-Gran, Mikel Subiza-Pérez, Adonina Tardón, Manuel Lozano, Maribel Casas, Mariona Bustamante, Alba Jimeno-Romero, Ana Fernández-Somoano, Sabrina Llop, Martine Vrijheid, Tim S. Nawrot and Eva-María Navarrete-Muñoz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(6), 5134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20065134 - 14 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Sedentary behaviour (SB) may be related to telomere length (TL) attrition due to a possible pro-inflammatory effect. This study examined the association between parent-reported sedentary behaviour (SB) and leukocyte TL at the age of 4 and telomere tracking from 4 to 8 years. [...] Read more.
Sedentary behaviour (SB) may be related to telomere length (TL) attrition due to a possible pro-inflammatory effect. This study examined the association between parent-reported sedentary behaviour (SB) and leukocyte TL at the age of 4 and telomere tracking from 4 to 8 years. In the Spanish birth cohort Infancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) project, we analysed data from children who attended follow-up visits at age 4 (n = 669) and 8 (n = 530). Multiple robust regression models were used to explore the associations between mean daily hours of SB (screen time, other sedentary activities, and total SB) at 4 years categorised into tertiles and TL at 4 years and difference in TL rank between age 4 and 8, respectively. At the age of 4, the results showed that children with the highest screen time (1.6–5.0 h/day) had a shorter TL of −3.9% (95% CI: −7.4, −0.4; p = 0.03) compared with children in the lowest tertile (0.0–1.0 h/day). Between 4 and 8 years, a higher screen time (highest tertile group vs. lowest tertile) was associated with a decrease in the LTL rank of −1.9% (95% CI: −3.8, −0.1; p = 0.03) from 4 to 8 years. Children exposed to a higher screen time at 4 years were more prone to have shorter TL at 4 and between 4 and 8 years of age. This study supports the potential negative effect of SB during childhood on cellular longevity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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12 pages, 995 KiB  
Article
Outdoor Kindergartens: A Structural Way to Improve Early Physical Activity Behaviour?
by Jeanett Friis Rohde, Sofus Christian Larsen, Mathilde Sederberg, Anne Bahrenscheer, Ann-Kristine Nielsen, Berit Lilienthal Heitmann and Ina Olmer Specht
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(6), 5131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20065131 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1608
Abstract
Background: Studies have shown that outdoor play in nature is associated with a higher physical activity level than indoor play. We aimed to examine the effect of outdoor versus conventional kindergartens on objectively measured physical activity. Method: Using a pre-test-post-test design, we collected [...] Read more.
Background: Studies have shown that outdoor play in nature is associated with a higher physical activity level than indoor play. We aimed to examine the effect of outdoor versus conventional kindergartens on objectively measured physical activity. Method: Using a pre-test-post-test design, we collected data in four kindergartens that provided a rotating outdoor and conventional kindergarten setting. Step counts were measured during one week in the outdoor setting and one week in the conventional setting. Differences in step counts between the outdoor and conventional setting were analysed using a paired t-test. Results: In total, 74 children were included. There was no statistically significant difference in total daily step counts between children in the two settings. When we looked at step counts during kindergarten hours, we saw that children were more physically active in the outdoor setting compared to the conventional setting (mean difference: 1089, p < 0.0001). When we looked at activity during time outside the kindergarten, we discovered that children had a lower step count in the outdoor setting as compared to the conventional setting (mean difference −652, p = 0.01). Conclusion: This study indicates that children are more physically active during the time they spend in outdoor kindergartens compared to conventional kindergartens, but may compensate with more inactivity outside kindergarten hours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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22 pages, 2509 KiB  
Article
Increasing Physical Activity at School Improves Physical Fitness of Early Adolescents
by Katarzyna Ługowska, Wojciech Kolanowski and Joanna Trafialek
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032348 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1883
Abstract
(1) Introduction: Regular physical activity (PA) is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of an increase in organized PA at school on the physical fitness (PF) of early [...] Read more.
(1) Introduction: Regular physical activity (PA) is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of an increase in organized PA at school on the physical fitness (PF) of early adolescent boys and girls. (2) Methods: A total of 294 children born in 2007 took part in the study. The sample was divided into two groups: of increased PA at school (n = 140, girls n = 66, boys n = 74) and standard PA (n = 154, girls G n = 70, boys n = 84). Increased and standard PA levels consisted of 10 and 4 h of physical education lessons (PE) per week, respectively. PE consisted of team games and fitness exercises. Three of the Eurofit tests, core strength, long jump, and running speed, were used to measure PF. Tests were conducted in May 2018 and 2019, at an average age of a participant of 11 and 12 years, respectively. Descriptive statistics and cluster analysis were applied for analyzing the results. (3) Results: After one year of observation PF of children was improved in both groups (p < 0.001). However, it was greater in the increased PA group than in the standard one. A higher percentage of very good scores and lower of poor and very poor were noted in the increased PA group than the standard one (20.36% vs. 12.90%, p = 0.003 and 18.58% vs. 24.85%, p = 0.022, respectively). Boys obtained better results than girls (p = 0.003). Children achieved the best results in the shuttle run test, and the worst in the core strength. Children with normal body mass obtained better results than those with excessive ones. (4) Conclusions: Increasing the number of PE at school beneficially affects the fitness performance of early adolescents. To improve the health status of adolescents it is advisable to increase the number of compulsory PE lessons in the school curriculum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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10 pages, 338 KiB  
Article
Accelerometer-Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time among Children in Japan before and during COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analysis
by Chiaki Tanaka, Akiko Shikano, Natsuko Imai, Kar Hau Chong, Steven J. Howard, Kosuke Tanabe, Anthony D. Okely, Ellie K. Taylor and Shingo Noi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021130 - 09 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
This study examined changes in physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB), screen time, sleep, and executive function among Japanese preschoolers between COVID-19 pre-pandemic and pandemic periods, using cross-sectional and longitudinal data. Accelerometer data from 63 children aged 5–6 years were collected from three [...] Read more.
This study examined changes in physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB), screen time, sleep, and executive function among Japanese preschoolers between COVID-19 pre-pandemic and pandemic periods, using cross-sectional and longitudinal data. Accelerometer data from 63 children aged 5–6 years were collected from three kindergartens in Tokyo, Japan, in late 2019 (pre-COVID-19). This was compared to the data of 49 children aged 5–6 years from the same kindergartens, collected in late 2020 (during COVID-19). Sixteen children in the pre-COVID-19 cohort also participated in the 2020 survey and provided data for the longitudinal analysis. The mean minutes of PA, SB, screen time, and sleep duration, as well as executive function, were compared between the pre- and during COVID-19 cohorts. After adjusting for school, sex, and accelerometer wear time, there were no significant differences in any of the measured outcomes between the two cohorts. However, the analysis of longitudinal data revealed significant increases in time spent in SB and on screens, and a decrease in light-intensity PA and sleep duration during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic period. Results suggest that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, young children’s activity levels and SB did not significantly differ from pre-pandemic levels. However, school-aged children’s SB, light PA, and sleep time were affected, although this cannot be disentangled from the effects of the transition to school. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
16 pages, 2571 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Weight Status, and Body Composition among South African Primary Schoolchildren
by Markus Gerber, Christin Lang, Johanna Beckmann, Rosa du Randt, Kurt Z. Long, Ivan Müller, Madeleine Nienaber, Nicole Probst-Hensch, Peter Steinmann, Uwe Pühse, Jürg Utzinger, Siphesihle Nqweniso and Cheryl Walter
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811836 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2327
Abstract
Background: Over the past decades, childhood overweight has increased in many African countries. We examined the relationship between sedentary behaviour, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and body composition in South African primary schoolchildren living in peri-urban settings. Methods: MVPA was measured via 7-day accelerometry [...] Read more.
Background: Over the past decades, childhood overweight has increased in many African countries. We examined the relationship between sedentary behaviour, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and body composition in South African primary schoolchildren living in peri-urban settings. Methods: MVPA was measured via 7-day accelerometry and body composition via bioelectrical impedance analysis in 1090 learners (49.2% girls, Mage = 8.3 ± 1.4 years). The relationships between MVPA and sedentary behaviour with the various body composition indicators (body fat and fat-free mass [total, truncal, arms, and legs], bone mass, muscle mass, and body water) were tested with mixed linear regressions. Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 9.8% and 6.6%, respectively; 77.1% of the children engaged in ≥60 min of MVPA/day. Girls were more likely to be overweight/obese, to accumulate less than 60 min of MVPA/day, and had significantly higher relative body fat than boys (ps < 0.001). Lower MVPA was associated with a higher likelihood of being overweight/obese, higher relative body fat, and lower relative fat-free mass, bone mass, muscle mass, and body water (ps < 0.001). For lower sedentary behaviour, the associations with body composition pointed in the opposite direction. Conclusions: In this South African setting, girls are a particularly relevant target group for future physical activity interventions to prevent overweight/obesity-related non-communicable diseases in later life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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13 pages, 1217 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Correlation between the Levels of Physical Activity and Technology Usage among Children with Down Syndrome in the Riyadh Region
by Reem. M. Alwhaibi, Asma B. Omer, Ruqaiyah Khan, Felwa Albashir, Noura Alkuait and Rawan Alhazmi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10958; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710958 - 02 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2118
Abstract
Background: Children with Down Syndrome (C-DS) have language, cognitive and communication difficulties, in addition to consistent physical inactivity that contributes to poor health and higher-disability-adjusted life years. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between the use of electronic [...] Read more.
Background: Children with Down Syndrome (C-DS) have language, cognitive and communication difficulties, in addition to consistent physical inactivity that contributes to poor health and higher-disability-adjusted life years. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between the use of electronic technology and levels of physical activity in C-DS in the Riyadh region of Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 49 mothers, where each had a child (6–12 years of age) with Down Syndrome (DS), and who were recruited using purposive sampling from three DS centers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Children’s Physical Activity Questionnaire and Research Questionnaire on the Impact of Technology on Children were used. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the demographics. Pearson’s correlation, Student’s t-test and the Chi-square test were used to assess the association between technology use, physical activity levels and socio-demographic variables. Results: There was no significant correlation between physical activity and the use of technology by C-DS. However, there was a negative correlation between a high level of physical activity and technology use (R = −0.037). Although, no significant correlation between the mother’s characteristics and technology use was found; there was a significantly positive correlation (p = 0.05) between the education level of mothers and the technology use by C-DS. Nonetheless, there was no association between the physical activity level and the gender of the child with DS. Conclusions: This study found that no significant relationship exists between the use of electronic gadgets and the level of physical activity in C-DS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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14 pages, 1782 KiB  
Article
Increased Physical Activity at School Benefits Arterial Blood Pressure in Children—A Prospective Follow-Up Cohort Study
by Wojciech Kolanowski, Katarzyna Ługowska and Joanna Trafialek
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(8), 4662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19084662 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2621
Abstract
(1) Background: A sedentary lifestyle and low physical activity (PA) increase the risk of hypertension in children. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of increased PA at school by elevation of the number of compulsory physical education (PE) lessons [...] Read more.
(1) Background: A sedentary lifestyle and low physical activity (PA) increase the risk of hypertension in children. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of increased PA at school by elevation of the number of compulsory physical education (PE) lessons on arterial blood pressure in children during a two-year follow-up. (2) Methods: Children (n = 245) born in 2007 attending a standard or elevated number of PE lessons in the school timetable (4 and 10 h a week, respectively) took part in the study. Blood pressure was measured starting from age approx. 10 to 12. (3) Results: Starting from a similar level, after 2 years, the percentage of children with normal blood pressure decreased in the standard-PE children from 83.25% to 78.03% but increased in the elevated-PE ones from 83.15% to 86.13%. The prevalence of both prehypertension and hypertension increased by one-third in the standard-PE children from 16.74% to 21.97% but decreased by one-sixth in the elevated-PE ones from 16.85% to 13.87%. The prevalence of hypertension itself increased by one-third in the standard-PE children from 9.82% to 13.12% but decreased in the elevated-PE ones by one-fifth from 9.60% to 7.75% (4) Conclusions: An increase in PA at school by the elevation of the number of PE lessons benefits children’s arterial blood pressure. Early prevention of hypertension in children can be supported by an adequate number of PE lessons in the school timetable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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15 pages, 1632 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Physical Activity at School on Children’s Body Mass during 2 Years of Observation
by Katarzyna Ługowska, Wojciech Kolanowski and Joanna Trafialek
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3287; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063287 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2263
Abstract
(1) Background: Children’s overweight and obesity are a growing public health problem. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of physical activity (PA) at school on body mass of children aged 10–12 during 2 years of observation. (2) Methods: Primary [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Children’s overweight and obesity are a growing public health problem. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of physical activity (PA) at school on body mass of children aged 10–12 during 2 years of observation. (2) Methods: Primary school children (n = 245, 48% girls and 52% boys) took part in the study. Children were divided in two groups, (1) of standard PA and (2) of elevated PA at school corresponding to 4 and 10 h of physical education lessons (PE) a week, respectively. Weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) were measured starting from the 4th grade and ending at the 6th grade of school. (3) Results: The number of children with excessive body weight (overweight and obese) increased by ¼ in children of standard PA while slightly decreased in children of elevated PA. Many more children of elevated PA changed body mass category from overweight to healthy weight than those of standard PA. Girls, especially of standard PA, had more often excessive body weight compared to boys. (4) Conclusions: Increasing time of physical activity at school by elevation of the number of PE lessons favorably affects the body mass of children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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Review

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20 pages, 2655 KiB  
Review
Active School Commuting in School Children: A Narrative Review of Current Evidence and Future Research Implications
by Ho Yeung Lam, Sisitha Jayasinghe, Kiran D. K. Ahuja and Andrew P. Hills
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6929; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206929 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Active school commuting (ASC) has been proposed as a practical way to inculcate positive physical activity habits in children. This paper reviews the current evidence regarding ASC among children, highlights advances in research techniques and existing limitations in the field, and outlines future [...] Read more.
Active school commuting (ASC) has been proposed as a practical way to inculcate positive physical activity habits in children. This paper reviews the current evidence regarding ASC among children, highlights advances in research techniques and existing limitations in the field, and outlines future implications for research and promotion. A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify English language studies on ASC among children aged 6–12 years, followed by a narrative review. ASC has witnessed a global decline, despite evidence of its contribution to physical activity levels. Context-dependent factors such as commuting distance and parental safety concerns are consistently identified as key determinants of ASC. Several promising interventions have been identified. Despite the limitations in intervention scope and quality, notable advancements in research techniques, such as multilevel regression and agent-based modelling, have been identified. Effective promotion of ASC to tackle childhood physical inactivity requires collaborative efforts among schools, parents, and the government, and should be tailored to address multilevel determinants within the local context. Future research should leverage recent advancements in research techniques to develop effective promotion strategies, while considering the context-dependent nature of ASC behaviours and addressing existing limitations, including the lack of standardised definitions and limited geographical and age coverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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19 pages, 422 KiB  
Review
Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercise Methodologies Used for Conservative Treatment of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, and Their Effectiveness: An Extended Literature Review of Current Research and Practice
by Vaiva Seleviciene, Aiste Cesnaviciute, Birute Strukcinskiene, Ludmiła Marcinowicz, Neringa Strazdiene and Agnieszka Genowska
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9240; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159240 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 10769
Abstract
Due to the multifactorial etiology of scoliosis, a comprehensive treatment plan is essential for conservative management. Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercise (PSSE) methods have lately gained popularity for the conservative treatment of scoliosis. The aim of this study was to analyze the PSSE methodologies used [...] Read more.
Due to the multifactorial etiology of scoliosis, a comprehensive treatment plan is essential for conservative management. Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercise (PSSE) methods have lately gained popularity for the conservative treatment of scoliosis. The aim of this study was to analyze the PSSE methodologies used for conservative treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), as well as their effectiveness. The study was based on an extended literature search conducted in the PubMed, Google Scholar, PEDro, eLABA, and BioMed Central databases. A total of 123 articles were selected for this study (including articles overviewed in systematic reviews and meta-analyses) after applying the inclusion criteria. The study revealed that inappropriate management of AIS could result in serious health problems. Conservative interventions that aid in stabilizing spine curvature and improving esthetics are preferred for scoliosis treatment. Bracing has traditionally been the mainstay of treatment, but growing evidence suggests that PSSE physiotherapy allows effective management of idiopathic adolescent scoliosis. Currently, there are the following PSSE physiotherapy schools in Europe: Schroth, SEAS, BSPTS, FED, FITS, Lyon, Side Shift, and DoboMed. The methodologies of these schools are similar, in that they focus on applying corrective exercises in three planes, developing stability and balance, breathing exercises, and posture awareness. Although high-quality research supporting the effectiveness of PSSE physiotherapy in the treatment of AIS is lacking, existing evidence indicates that PSSE physiotherapy helps to stabilize spinal deformity and improve patients’ quality of life. Among the abovementioned methodologies, Schroth is the most widely studied and has been proven to be effective. However, both SEAS and BSPTS effectively stabilize and even reduce the Cobb angle of scoliosis. Data supporting the validity of other methodologies are very limited. Only the Schroth method significantly reduces the angle of trunk rotation, while both SEAS and Schroth methods greatly improve the quality of life indicators. In any case, the available evidence is insufficient to confirm the advantage of one specific physiotherapy technique over others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

26 pages, 440 KiB  
Study Protocol
A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial to Increase the Sustainment of an Indoor–Outdoor-Free-Play Program in Early Childhood Education and Care Services: A Study Protocol for the Sustaining Play, Sustaining Health (SPSH) Trial
by Noor Imad, Nicole Pearson, Alix Hall, Adam Shoesmith, Nicole Nathan, Luke Giles, Alice Grady and Serene Yoong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(6), 5043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20065043 - 13 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1503
Abstract
Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings are important environments to support children’s physical activity (PA). In 2021, COVID-19 regulations recommended the provision of indoor–outdoor free-play programs in ECEC settings to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, resulting in an increased uptake of this [...] Read more.
Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings are important environments to support children’s physical activity (PA). In 2021, COVID-19 regulations recommended the provision of indoor–outdoor free-play programs in ECEC settings to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, resulting in an increased uptake of this practice. As the context has since changed, research suggests that ECEC services could cease the implementation of these practices. Therefore, this pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) aims to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of a sustainment strategy to ensure the ongoing implementation (sustainment) of ECEC-delivered indoor–outdoor free-play programs. Twenty ECEC services located in New South Wales, Australia that have implemented indoor–outdoor free-play programs since the release of COVID-19 guidelines will be recruited. The services will be randomly allocated either the sustainment strategy or usual care. The “Sustaining Play, Sustaining Health” program consists of eight strategies, developed to address key barriers against and facilitators of sustainment informed by the Integrated Sustainability Framework. The outcomes will be assessed via internal project records, staff surveys, and a self-reported measure of free play. This study will provide important data to support the performance of a fully powered trial within Australian ECEC settings and to inform the development of future sustainment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
17 pages, 671 KiB  
Systematic Review
Correlates of Physical Activity of Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review of Cross-Sectional Studies
by Tianwei Zhong, Hui Liu, Yan Li and Jing Qi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 16301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192316301 - 05 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at a high risk for a lack of physical activity (PA). The aim of this study is to review the evidence on the correlates of PA in children and adolescents with ASD in low- [...] Read more.
Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at a high risk for a lack of physical activity (PA). The aim of this study is to review the evidence on the correlates of PA in children and adolescents with ASD in low- and middle-income countries. We searched Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection (PBSC), Scopus, PsycINFO, Web of Science (WOS), MEDLINE, Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), Education Source (ES), and Academic Search Premier (ASP) databases for relevant studies until April 2022, inclusive, to examine the factors associated with the studies of PA in children and adolescents with ASD aged 5 to 17 years in low- and middle-income countries. A total of 15 articles are included in the present review. Three researchers assessed the methodological quality and extracted relevant data of the included reviews. The correlates were synthesized and further assessed semi-quantitatively. Results of this review show that gender (boys) and more PA opportunities were positively associated with the PA of children and adolescents with ASD, while age and body mass index (BMI) were negatively related to their PA levels in low- and middle-income countries. The day of week was found to be inconsistently associated with PA in children and adolescents with ASD. The findings suggest that research on the correlates of PA in adolescents with ASD in low- and middle-income countries is limited. However, there are clear correlates for which future interventions could be based (age, gender, BMI, and PA opportunity) to promote PA participation in children and adolescents with ASD in low- and middle-income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Physical Activity and Health)
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