An Exploration of Child–Staff Interactions That Promote Physical Activity in Pre-School.

Kippe, K. O., Fossdal, T. S., Lagestad, P. A.


The results of a previous study indicate a correlation between kindergarten staffs and children’s levels of physical activity, but not whether it is kindergarten staff or children who cause the level to increase or decrease. This study explores the interaction between kindergarten staff and children in order to gain a better understanding of these correlations.


The analyses of the data material show that initiation of physical activity is a complex process initiated by both kindergarten staff and children. However, one result that becomes very clear is that the children like the adults to participate in physically active play. Kindergarten employees play a particularly important role as organisers and initiators of physical activity for physically inactive children. The study also shows that in order to promote physical activity among children, it is important that kindergarten staff show a willingness to participate when children invite them to play. Finally, the study shows that kindergarten staff's focus on physical activity was mainly associated with outdoor play.


Observations were carried out over the course of two to three days in three kindergartens in Norway during 2017 and 2018. The three selected kindergartens were categorised as moderately active in the study that preceded this one. The children observed were between four and six years old. In one of the kindergartens, the researchers conducted interviews with kindergarten employees while the observations were in progress. After the observation period ended, structured, semi-formal focus group interviews were conducted with kindergarten staff in all three kindergartens.


Kippe, K. O., Fossdal, T. S. & Lagestad, P. A. (2021). “An Exploration of Child–Staff Interactions That Promote Physical Activity in Pre-School”. Frontiers in Public Health, 9:607012.