Barriers to Physical Fitness Program Implementation in the Childcare Centers of Northern Manhattan.
Morgan, Reed E.
- The lack of physical activity among children in Northern Manhattan has resulted in an epidemic of childhood obesity. Due to low family incomes, cultural dietary and parenting practices, and a lack of community resources, for children living in Harlem and Washington Heights their childcare centers are the primary places where they have the opportunity to engage in physically active play. Unfortunately, ... read morenot only is the amount of time the children spend at their child care centers in active play not enough, the time they do spend is not being used in a way that is optimal for the children's health. The purpose of this study was to identify the barriers to physical fitness program implementation in the child care centers of Northern Manhattan. The study utilized both qualitative research methodology, including five in-depth interviews with directors of child care centers in Northern Manhattan, and quantitative research methodology in the form of a questionnaire completed by the same five directors. The results of the interviews and the questionnaires revealed the significant barriers to physical fitness implementation in the child care centers' communities, as well as the directors' agreement that structured play and organized exercise, as opposed to free play, have greater health benefits for young children. The author not only contributed a developmentally appropriate workout of games and exercises for children, but also put forward his theory about the ways child care centers can integrate physical activity into their children's day with improved health outcomes and at extremely low financial cost.read less