The first few years of life have the most developmental impact on a child, therefore instilling the importance of physical activity best promotes healthy lifestyle behaviors especially those that may be at-risk for delays in the future. Studies have also shown that cognitive development in regards to memory, attention and self-regulation are also improved through participating in physical activity, especially in early childhood development. Previous research supports the importance of physical activity during early childhood although the majority of early childhood education systems are far from meeting the recommended daily amounts of physical activity. Research found that children in early childhood education settings in the United States spent an average of 27 minutes in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day when the US national standard is almost five times that at 120 minutes per day. In Northeastern Colorado, does daily structured physical education for at-risk preschoolers help improve critical skill development essential to this age group? Hopes are that physical education intervention will specifically help at-risk preschoolers and allow them to not fall behind in the coming years. Other studies have shown that the introduction of physical education curriculum in preschool may improve gross motor skills which in turn improve fine motor skills. Hopefully similar interventions can be successful in Northeast Colorado where at risk preschoolers range from developmental delays due to drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy, previous neglect, being on the autistic spectrum as well as other undiagnosed reasons.
Honeycutt Firme, Jessica, "High Hopes: Physical Education for At-Risk Preschoolers in Northeast Colorado" (2021). Spring Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry. 103.