Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Physical education for children--Curricula; Physical education and training--Study and teaching (Preschool)--Curricula; Obesity in children--Prevention;


Presumably, energy balance can help to stabilize and ultimately reverse the rising rates of childhood obesity. Research findings generally point to a positive association between preschool children’s motor skill competence and their level of physical activity. This study was conducted as part of Project PLAY (Preschool Lessons for Active Youngsters) to objectively evaluate Project PLAY curriculum in order to provide childcare centers with an outcome-based curriculum that can improve motor skill development and positively affect physical activity level. This study used a quasi-experimental, cross over design with pre-mid-post assessment of motor skills and physical activity. The study was conducted with 44 children age 3-5 years using a randomly assigned control group (n=23) and an intervention group (n=21). Upon completion of first 12-week intervention subjects were crossed over and a second 12-week intervention was offered to the control group. Physical activity (PA) levels were assessed using an ActiGraph 7164 accelerometer set at 15 second intervals over five days during the time spent at the child care center, collecting a minimum of three days of data. The intervention consisted of 48 lessons delivered via 30 minutes lessons, 4 days per week for 12 weeks. The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) version 2 (Ulrich, 2000) was used to assess six locomotor and six object control standard scores as well as determine a gross motor quotient (GMQ). After the first 12-week intervention a total of 23 children completed the PA assessment for mid-study results. After accounting for drop-outs, the results indicated a higher level of MVPA and VPA in the control group over the intervention group. However, the physical activity program was effective in increasing VPA levels for the intervention group. This physical activity intervention was not effective in improving the gross motor skills of the treatment group over the control.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services


Division of Health Promotion and Education

First Advisor

Susan Roberts-Dobie

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 59 pages)



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