CCHE Seminar Series: What Do We Learn From a Physical Activity Intervention Implemented in Daycare Centers?

What Do We Learn From a Physical Activity Intervention Implemented in Daycare Centers?

Nazmi Sari
University of Saskatchewan

Friday March 11, 2022, 10am-12pm, Zoom

Abstract: Despite various labor market and health benefits of physical activity, individuals including children spend more time in sedentary activities and stay physically less active. This high level of insufficient physical activity is ob­served in all major developed countries including Canada, US, and European countries. As a high level of inactivity becomes a substantial issue around the globe, several national and international health agencies emphasize the importance of a physically active lifestyle. The current guideline adopted by the World Health Organization recommends participation in regular physical activity across the week.  However, the question still remains to be addressed is how to increase the level of activity.

In order to identify and design successful tools to increase physical activity, there has been a growing body of literature focusing on socio-economic and demographic correlates of physical activity, and evaluation of physical activity programs. In this paper we also evaluate an intervention (Healthy Start/Départ Santé (HSDS)) developed and implemented in daycare centers to promote physical activity, physical literacy and healthy eating behaviors among children across Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Our evaluation is aimed at assessing the impact of HSDS on physical activity, physical literacy and healthy eating among children in daycare centers.

The results from the HSDS evaluation shows an increase in opportunity for engaging in physical activity, physical literacy and healthy eating for the children.  We find an intervention effect of 16.74 minutes per day for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and 15.3 on the gross motor quotient scale for locomotor skills among children in daycare centers that are located in small communities in SK. For other communities in both provinces, we find mixed results suggesting that the impact of the HSDS is not uniform across various communities. Future physical activity interventions designed to take these issues into account would potentially be more successful in improving the level of physical activity.

Dr. Sari earned his PhD in economics at Boston University in 2001. Currently he is a professor of economics at the University of Saskatchewan. Before joining the University of Saskatchewan, he was an assistant professor at the School of Policy and Management, Florida International University, USA. In addition to his appointment at the University, he is a faculty associate at the Canadian Center for Health Economics, University of Toronto.

Dr. Sari’s research programs have focused on provider reimbursements and healthcare financing reforms; economics of sports and exercise; quality and efficiency issues in hospital markets; economics of smoking; and economic evaluation of specific healthcare interventions and programs. His research has been published in economics, health economics, health policy and health sciences journals, and has been supported by several funding agencies including the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.