About the HAPPY Study

Male child holding a soccer ball The Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years (HAPPY) Study aims to examine physical activity and sedentary behaviour of young children and to identify factors across multiple domains impacting on these behaviours, including neighbourhood characteristics, home environments, social factors and parental influences. Children from low, mid and high socioeconomic areas across metropolitan Melbourne
(6 local government areas) were recruited from preschools and long day care centres in a two-stage recruitment between September and December 2008 and between July and November 2009.

At baseline, the physical activity levels of 1032 children aged three to five years who had not started school were measured over eight days using activity monitors. Parents also completed a survey about their child's activities and things that might influence their physical activity.

ARC funding was awarded in 2011 to follow up the baseline cohort at ages six to eight years. This follow up aims to examine changes in the physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns of young children as they transition from preschool to primary school. Follow up data collection is currently underway and due to be completed in December 2012


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