The association between physical activity during preschool hours and early numeracy




early childhood education, physical activity, early numeracy, latent profile analysis


Previous findings suggest positive association between physical activity (PA) and children's cognitive outcomes. Early numeracy (EN) refers to young children’s mathematical proficiency, including relational and counting skills. EN has been shown to strongly predict later mathematical and academic achievements. Previous research has mainly focused on school-age children; however, research in early ages is scarce. No previous studies have used device-based measurement of PA with an individual test of EN to understand the associations between preschool PA and EN. The study investigated the relationship between PA during preschool hours and EN in 4-5-year-old children (N = 95, Mage = 4.6). PA was measured during 5 consecutive preschool days using hip-worn accelerometers, while EN was assessed using the Finnish Early Numeracy Test. Results revealed no significant correlation between preschool PA level and EN. Furthermore, latent profile analyses identified three profiles with high, medium, and low PA, whereas EN did not significantly differ among the profiles. While the results showed significantly different amounts of PA among children during preschool, the current study suggests no direct relation between preschool PA and EN.


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