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Table 9 High-level summary of findings by health indicator across all, experimental and observational study designs

From: Systematic review of the relationships between physical activity and health indicators in the early years (0-4 years)

Health indicator # of studies Quality of evidence Summary of findingsa
Experimental study designs Observational study designs All designs
Critical
 Adiposity 57 Very low to low Favourable: 2 studies Favourable: 16 studies Favourable: 18 studies
Null: 5 studies Null: 25 studies Null: 30 studies
Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 4 studies Unfavourable: 4 studies
Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 5 studies Mixed: 5 studies
 Motor development 23 Very low to low Favourable: 10 studies Favourable: 8 studies Favourable: 18 studies
Null: 2 studies Null: 1 study Null: 3 studies
Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 1 study Unfavourable: 1 study
Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 1 study Mixed: 1 study
 Psychosocial health 11 Very low to moderate Favourable: 2 studies Favourable: 3 studies Favourable: 5 studies
Null: 1 study Null: 2 studies Null: 3 studies
Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 3 studies Unfavourable: 3 studies
Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 0 studies
 Cognitive development 13 Very low to high Favourable: 10 studies Favourable: 0 studies Favourable: 10 studies
Null: 0 studies Null: 2 studies Null: 2 studies
Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 1 study Unfavourable: 1 study
Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 0 studies
 Fitness 3 Very low Favourable: 0 studies Favourable: 3 studies Favourable: 3 studies
Null: 0 studies Null: 0 studies Null: 0 studies
Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 0 studies
Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 0 studies
Important
 Bone and skeletal health 7 Very low to low Favourable: 0 studies Favourable: 5 studies Favourable: 5 studies
Null: 1 study Null: 1 study Null: 2 studies
Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 0 studies
Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 0 studies
 Cardiometabolic health 9 Very low Favourable: 1 study Favourable: 1 study Favourable: 2 studies
Null: 0 studies Null: 4 studies Null: 4 studies
Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 1 study Unfavourable: 1 study
Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 2 studies Mixed: 2 studies
 Risks/harm 4 Very low to low Favourable: 0 studies Favourable: 1 study Favourable: 1 study
Null: 0 studies Null: 1 study Null: 1 study
Unfavourable: 0 studies Unfavourable: 1 study Unfavourable: 1 study
Mixed: 0 studies Mixed: 1 study Mixed: 1 study
  1. aFavourable: at least one favourable but no unfavourable associations were observed; Unfavourable: at least one unfavourable but no favourable associations were observed; Null: no favourable or unfavourable associations were observed; Mixed: both favourable and unfavourable or favourable, unfavourable, and null associations were all observed. Bold font indicates ≥ 60% of studies were in the favourable or unfavourable direction