Jennifer Hight, M.S., OTD, OTR/L; Shirley Peganoff O’Brien, Ph.D. OTR/L, FAOTA; Colleen Schneck, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Background: Many children reach kindergarten lacking age-appropriate motor skills because of a lack of access to early intervention services or a lack of continued early intervention beyond 3 years of age. Research suggests sedentary children become sedentary adults, which contributes to a growing population of unhealthy Americans with chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and psychosocial difficulties. Parents often are not aware of the benefits of engaging in physical activity or possess a lack of awareness of their local resources. A community based preschool movement program was created to foster physical activity and promote carryover through participation in family activities.
Method: A program evaluation design model was used to explore parental perceptions of their child’s interest and participation in physical activities. Knowledge of local resources was also measured.
Results: The parent responses reported an increase in interest for physical activities by their child along with an increase in parental understanding of the value of movement in daily routines. The family’s awareness of local resources increased as a result of the movement program and supporting materials.
Conclusion: Collaborating with existing entities can further parental education about movement and non-sedentary routines. Future research is needed to measure outcomes over time.
Hight, J., O'Brien, S. P., & Schneck, C. M. (2021). Promoting Population Health in Local Communities: Parental Perceptions of an Embedded Movement and Physical Activity Program for a Preschool Population. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 9(3), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1841