Prospective associations with physiological, psychosocial and educational outcomes of meeting Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years

Trina Hinkley, Anna Timperio, Amanda Watson, Rachel L. Duckham, Anthony D. Okely, Dylan Cliff, Alison Carver, Kylie D. Hesketh

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29 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Several countries have released movement guidelines for children under 5 that incorporate guidelines for sleep, physical activity and sedentary behavior. This study examines prospective associations of preschool children's compliance with the 24-Hour Australian movement guidelines (sleep, physical activity, screen time) and physiological, psychosocial and educational outcomes during primary school. Methods: Data were from the Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years Study (Melbourne, Australia; n = 471; 3-5 years; 2008/9). Follow-ups occurred at 3 (2011/12; 6-8 years), 6 (2014/15; 9-11 years) and 7 (2016; 10-12 years) years post baseline. Multiple regression models assessed associations between compliance with guidelines at baseline and later outcomes. Results: Children were 4.6 years at baseline (53% boys; 62% high socio-economic families). Most children met physical activity (89%) and sleep (93%) guidelines; 23% met screen-time guidelines; and 20% met all guidelines at baseline. Meeting all of the three guidelines was associated with lower BMI z-scores at 9-11 years of age (b = - 0.26, 95%CI -0.47, - 0.05). Meeting physical activity guidelines was associated with higher total body bone mineral density (b = 0.64, 95%CI 0.15, 1.13), and total body bone mineral content (b = 183.19, 95%CI 69.92, 296.46) at 10-12 years of age. Meeting sleep guidelines was associated with better reading (b = 37.60, 95%CI 6.74, 68.46), spelling (b = 34.95, 95%CI 6.65, 63.25), numeracy (b = 39.09, 95%CI 11.75, 66.44), language (b = 44.31, 95%CI 11.77, 76.85) and writing (b = 25.93, 95%CI 0.30, 51.57) at 8-9 years of age. No associations were evident for compliance with screentime guidelines or for psychosocial outcomes. Conclusions: Compliance with different movement behavior guidelines was associated with different outcomes. Strategies to support children in meeting all of the guidelines are warranted to maximize health and educational outcomes. Future research investigating dose-response associations, and potential mechanisms, is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Early childhood
  • Educational achievement
  • Movement behaviours
  • Physical activity
  • Physiological
  • Psychosocial
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Sleep


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