Factors Related to Head Start Teachers’ Implementation of Physical Activity Programming

Colin M Cox

Abstract


BACKGROUND: This study examined factors that predicted Head Start preschool teachers’ use of the physical activity components of I am Moving, I am Learning, a nationally disseminated obesity prevention program. METHODS: Lead teachers (N = 120) in a large city in the United States completed questionnaires to self-report I am Moving, I am Learning implementation, demographic information, their general attitudes toward physical activity promotion, and their specific attitudes about implementing I am Moving, I am LearningRESULTS: Three variables were associated with teachers’ program usage: (1) prior teacher training (p <.001); (b) teachers’ perceptions about program usability (p=.002); and (c) teachers’ prior experience leading physical activity (p=.037). Results also highlighted Head Start teachers’ positive attitudes about the benefits of promoting physical activity. CONCLUSIONS: Many Head Start teachers described IM/IL as a feasible and acceptable physical activity promotion program. However, training opportunities were variable and more comprehensive and consistent training would be important.


Keywords


Community health, physical activity programs, child obesity, pre-school

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