Online Program

Enhancing Physical Activity Opportunities in Child-Serving Cultural Institutions: Lessons Learned from the Chicago Children's Museum

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sarah B. Welch, MPH, Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Nancy Plaskett, Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago, IL
Maryann Mason, PhD, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Alexandra Pafilis Silverstein, Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago, IL
Katherine Nickele, Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), Chicago, IL
introduction: Museums and other cultural institutions have the ability and opportunity to play a role in the physical activity of children. Children frequently spend time in museums so designing the space and exhibits to be conducive to physical activity can contribute a meaningful amount of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) minutes to children. The Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM) recognized the role it could play in providing physical activity opportunities to patrons and has designed many of their spaces with child physical activity in mind. This paper presents findings from an evaluation of child activity levels at CCM.

methods: Children 3-8 years old wore accelerometers during their museum visit. Participant age, sex, height, weight, and race/ethnicity were collected. Maps were distributed to collect exhibits/locations visited and duration of stay. Statistical analyses included descriptives to understand the distributions of energy expenditure by age and gender and Pearson correlations to look at time spent in museum locations and activity levels.

results: The mean visit time at CCM was 2.11 hours long (n=96). Mean percent of visit spent in MVPA was 21.3%. There was a significant relationship between time spent in three specific exhibits and MVPA minutes (p<0.028).

discussion:  This project gives us insight into the link between the built environment and physical activity in children while visiting an educational establishment. Objective data from this project will allow CCM to strengthen their efforts and will help identify opportunities for museums to create exhibits that are conducive to physical activity and create healthy environments for children.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe evaluation strategies for measuring physical activity level and quality of children in cultural institutions. Discuss the role cultural institutions can play in providing physical activity opportunities for children.

Keyword(s): Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the evaluation manager for this project. I have worked with accelerometers to measure child activity in cultural institutions before and I have training in evaluation methods. I participated in data collection and analysis for this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.