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Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2011 September;51(3):467-72

lingua: Inglese

Advising parents on physical activity for children between 0 and 5 years

Laure P., Mangin G.

Regional Direction on Jouth, Sports and Social Cohesion, Saint-Max, France


AIM:Physical activity is thought to have a crucial role to play in health, psychomotor development and habit formation for children between 0 and 5 years old. However, all children under 6 are not as active as recommended in the literature. Objective: to provide physicians with some guidelines, based on the principle of Early Screening and Brief Intervention, in order to encourage parents with young sedentary children to be more active.
METHODS: Literature review, development of a decision algorithm, analysis by professionals. Results: Data were gathered from Medline Pubmed, Cochrane Library, and the French Database in Public Health (any date to November 2009). Papers which did not give enough details (length, nature, etc.) on the advice were rejected and papers which dealt with a brief consultation, or with advice that was given either to a whole group of people, or that was given by several health professionals during the course of a personal coaching program.
RESULTS: For instance, 1 492 hits were found after researching the terms screening and brief intervention on Medline, but there were only 12 when the research was run together with the terms (physical activity or active play or exercise) and primary care. A decision algorithm to advise parents was developed, based on Early Screening and Brief Intervention principle. This tool should be usable by every doctor in primary care. “Early screening” starts with the parents being asked questions concerning their young child’s physical activity, and “Brief Intervention” is based on existing recommendations, as well as recent studies on the key factors linked to physical activity in very young children.
CONCLUSION:The ESBI approach proved successful when applied to psychoactive substances and merits testing in the field of physical activity. Further studies are needed to provide doctors with efficient tools to evaluate physical activity during a consultation.

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