Publication Date



This study examined characteristics of child care centers associated with preschoolers’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behavior while in child care (MVPA-C, SB-C), and attributes of outdoor play areas associated with the same behaviors during outdoor time (MVPA-O, SB-O). Participants were 89 children (3 -5 years) recruited from 10 child care centers in Brisbane, Australia. Children’s activity was measured by accelerometer over a 3-day period. Center characteristics and outdoor play area attributes were identified through survey and observation. We found that children were mostly sedentary while in child care. Lower child-staff ratios and using indoor play areas for motor activity were associated with more MVPA-C and less SB-C. Fixed play equipment in outdoor areas was conducive to more MVPA-O and less SB-O. This study suggests the possibility of enhancing preschoolers’ activity levels through changing these attributes. Further research with more centers from diverse settings is needed to test these findings.


Institute for Health and Ageing

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.