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Intervening in early childhood to improve physical activity and heart health throughout life
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Intervening in early childhood to improve physical activity and heart health throughout life

Professor Kylie Hesketh, Institution: Deakin University

2021 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2022-2026

Low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour are leading contributors to burden of disease, with negative cardiovascular and other health impacts evident even before children start school. However few interventions target these behaviours in the critical early childhood period, particularly the first 3-years of life. None have taken an implementation science approach and been developed with stakeholder input, to be scalable. Yet interventions in early life, when biology is most amenable to change, are more likely to have sustained effects on health.

Professor Kylie Hesketh's proposed research program will:

  1. Establish evidence of extended reach of the efficacy of early childhood intervention
  2. develop a new intervention to provide cohesive support across key settings for young children.

Promoting physical activity and reduction of sedentary behaviour in very early childhood, through programs designed with stakeholder input to be scalable, will ultimately lead to higher physical activity levels and lower cardiovascular disease risk for the next generation.

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