Effects of a new state policy on physical activity practices in child care centers in South Carolina

Jennifer R. O'Neill, Marsha Dowda, Sara Neelon, Brian Neelon, Russell R. Pate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. We sought to determine the extent to which child care centers in South Carolina improved physical activity practices after a new policy took effect. Methods. In 2012, South Carolina adopted new mandatory physical activity standards within its child care quality enhancement program. This quasi-experimental study used North Carolina, a state notmaking policy changes, as the comparison. Participantswere 34 child care centers in South Carolina and 30 centers in North Carolina. Researchers used the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) tool to conduct center observations before and after policy implementation and then conducted repeated-measures linear regression with interaction between state and time for the Physical Activity Environment Total Score and the 8 subscale scores. Results. Compared with centers in North Carolina, EPAO subscale scores in South Carolina centers increased significantly for the Fixed Play Environment (P < .001) and Physical Activity Training and Education (P = .015). The state-by-time interaction of Physical Activity Environment Total Score approached statistical significance (P = .06). Conclusions. Adoption of new physical activity standards in South Carolina child care centers was associated with improvements in practices aimed at increasing children's physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-146
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume107
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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