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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds This is Matt. He is four years old and lives in Australia.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Matt wakes up at 6:30 in the morning. Most days of the week, he spends about 20 minutes watching television in the morning while his mum makes breakfast. Matt eats his breakfast and gets dressed in front of the TV. Matt and his mum are going to drive to preschool, because it looks like it’s going to rain.

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 seconds At 8:30 in the morning, they arrive at preschool. Matt says goodbye to his mum and goes straight to a table of activities where his friends are playing. He finds a chair and joins in playing games with his friends. It’s group time at the preschool. Older children sit down on the mat and sing songs and listen to a story. The educator asks some questions about the story and all children answer by raising their hands. The educator puts on music and gets the children to do the actions to the songs. Most children remain sitting during the song. The rain has stopped and the children get to go outside and play.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 seconds The educators have set out some equipment for the children to play with in the sandpit and out in the yard. Matt is playing with two of his friends and they have built a cubby house. The educator decided to use his cubby house for an activity involving the children called we are going on a bear hunt, which is based on the well-known story book of the same title. At the end of the day, Matt’s mum comes to pick him up. The weather has improved, so they’re going to walk home from the preschool. On the way home, they stop off for a play at the local park. Matt and his mum play tip tag and try out the different pieces of equipment.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds Matt loves the slide and bars and climbing on the climbing wall. Once they get home, Matt and his mum do some chores together. Matt watches TV while his mum cooks dinner. The family eat dinner together and then Matt gets ready for bed.

Observation challenge: Identify the factors

Watch the video of Matt again and complete the following task to apply what you have learned about factors that influence physical activity for young children.

Observation challenge: Identify the factors

As you watch the video again of a day in the life of 4 year old Matt from Australia, think about the factors that are helping or stopping Matt from being physically active. Remember to think about the ecological model and the different factors across the domains of Individual, Interpersonal, Environmental, Policy and Global.


In the comments section write your response to each of the following tasks. Don’t forget to number your responses and comment on the responses of other learners to generate discussion with those who may have similar or different opinions to you:

  1. Identify a time during the day where Matt is physically active and describe a factor influencing this (from the ecological model)
  2. Identify a time during the day where Matt is not very physically active and describe a factor influencing this (from the ecological model)
  3. Now that you have identified factors influencing Matt’s physical activity, what changes do you think can be made to increase his physical activity in this situation?

Example responses:

  1. Matt is active at the end of his school day when he walks home with his mother. Environmental factors influence this activity because the weather was suitable for walking, and because he lives a reasonable walking distance from home. Interpersonal factors also influence this activity such as his mother’s schedule and availability to walk with him at that time.
  2. Matt is not very active when he is sitting in the morning watching TV. He is watching TV because his mother is busy making breakfast. This is both an interpersonal and environmental factor because he has access to the television which is turned on in the morning and his mother is enabling him to watch television while she prepares food in the kitchen.
  3. An opportunity for greater physical activity for Matt in the morning is to put music on to dance to or a television program that encourages children to move around.

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This video is from the free online course:

Preventing Childhood Obesity: an Early Start to Healthy Living

University of Wollongong