Barriers and facilitators of physical activity, sedentary and sleep behaviours in 3 to 4-year-old children from low-income families: a study protocol

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This study will evaluate the barriers and facilitators that families experience in adhering to the 24-hour movement behaviours guidelines as outlined by World Health Organisation (WHO).

The study is a mixed-methods study and will recruit between 20 to 30 low-income families with children aged 3- to 4-years living in Scotland. For the quantitative part, children will be asked to wear an Actigraph (GT3X +) accelerometer to measure physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep. Parents/guardians will be asked to keep an activity diary outlining when their child has had to remove the device (i.e., showering, bathing, swimming) and record the child’s screen time each day. Once the data has been analysed, a unique activity profile chart will be sent out to each family illustrating their child’s 24-hour movement behaviours (i.e., time spent active, time spent sedentary and on screens, time spent sleeping). The activity profile will provide a day-by-day output as well as a weekly average for each of the 24-hour movement behaviours. Qualitative data will be collected using the Asynchronous Remote Communities method (ARC). The ARC involves participants completing activities using an online closed Facebook group. Parents/guardians of 3- to 4-year-old children will be asked to engage in group discussion tasks using the private and closed-group online platform (a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 8 families per discussion group). The quantitative data collated from the questionnaire and activity monitor will be presented through descriptive analysis and after the 6-week asynchronous process is complete, qualitative data will be collated and analysed using Braun and Clarke’s reflexive approach to thematic analysis.

The data collected will provide an understanding of what barriers and facilitators parent’s/guardians’ experience in relation to adhering to the 24-hour movement behaviour guidelines. This could potentially lead to the design and implementation of support and interventions to help families struggling to adhere to the guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Activity, Sedentary and Sleep Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • 24-Hour movement behaviours
  • physical activity
  • sleep
  • screen time
  • sedentary behaviour
  • low-income families


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