The effect of music mat exercises on the device-measured sedentary time and physical activity among 4-6-year-old Finnish children and their parents: a pilot study




Exercises on a music mat were developed to promote Finnish, 4-6-year-old children’s and their parents’ physical activity (PA) and decrease sedentary behavior (SB) in the home environment. Altogether, fifteen families performed eight-week exercise intervention using a music mat. SB and PA were assessed by a tri-axial hip-worn accelerometer, and further by exercise diaries and questionnaires. The statistical methods employed a linear mixed-effects model design. Regarding children (n=14) and mothers (n=14), any statistically significant differences in the primary outcomes over time were not found. Among fathers (n=8), in turn, the reduction of SB was statistically significant (p=0.031). Most of the children and all the parents used the music mat less than instructed. The association between the children and their parents was negligible in all device-measured outcomes. One-third of children who used the music mat regularly as instructed increased their moderate-to-vigorous PA and Total-PA and decreased their SB. In conclusion, the music mat exercises in the home environment may promote PA or reduce SB among those who are willing to use the music mat regularly. At least, exercises might be a good addition to weekly PA and to break long sedentary bouts.


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