Meeting the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years is associated with better social-emotional development in preschool boys

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Abstract

24-hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years promote that achieving all three-movement behaviour (sleep, sedentary behaviour and physical activity) recommendations is important for child health and development. We examined the association between meeting all, none and combinations of the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years and social-emotional development in 1363 preschool (2–5 years) boys (52%) and girls. The PLAYCE study (Perth, Western Australia) parent survey collected data on children's social-emotional development (Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire), screen time, sleep and socio-demographic factors. Physical activity was measured using seven-day accelerometry. Only 8% of preschoolers met all three guidelines (5% met none). A higher proportion of boys than girls met physical activity-related guideline combinations (physical activity only, physical activity plus screen, physical activity plus sleep, all), while more girls than boys met sleep only guidelines (all p < 0.05). In boys, meeting all guidelines, compared with none, was associated with a lower total difficulties score (adjusted difference in means −1.90; 95%CI: −3.88, −0.10). Meeting the screen only guideline or the screen plus sleep guidelines, compared with none, were associated with lower total difficulties, conduct problems and hyperactivity scores in boys (all p < 0.05). Meeting the physical activity plus sleep guidelines, compared with none, were associated with lower total difficulties and conduct problems scores in boys (all p < 0.05). No significant associations were found for girls. These findings highlight the positive impact for boys social-emotional development in meeting all guidelines. Future guideline development should consider dose–response evidence to identify guideline thresholds for specific health and developmental outcomes for boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101770
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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