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Seminar – Movement behaviours and parenting in the first two years of life

April 16, 2020 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

All are invited to a CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Seminar:

Movement behaviours and parenting in the first two years of life.

Dr Alessandra Prioreschi, Associate Director of the SAMRC Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand.

Watch a recording of this seminar.

Download the slides from Dr Prioreschi`s seminar as a PDF.


Many children lack the stimulation needed to support healthy growth and development. Recent international movement guidelines for physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for the early years (0-5 years) prescribe that in the first two years of life, infants should be provided with as much stimulation and opportunity to be active as possible, in order to improve motor and cognitive development and growth.

Interactive play (cognitively stimulating play with a caregiver, resulting in increased infant movement, attachment, relationship building, and learning) can improve childhood growth and developmental through biological pathways linked to infant movement, and through nurturing care.

From my formative work, I have explored and developed methodology for objectively measuring infant movement using 24-hour accelerometry. Assessment of caregiver-infant interactions using headcams (small cameras which are worn on headbands on both infants and caregivers for a period of time while interacting, which provide a first person view of the interaction from both infant and caregiver perspective) provide naturalistic and detailed measures of parenting styles.

I aim to ultimately combine these two novel measures of infant activity and caregiver-infant interaction to define optimal levels of interactive play. However, the feasibility of the headcam tool in Soweto, South Africa has not yet been explored.

About Dr Prioreschi

Allessandra is an Associate Director of the SAMRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit (DPHRU).

She obtained her PhD in Exercise Physiology in 2014, in the School of Physiology at the University of the Witwatersrand. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at DPHRU, during which time she developed an interest in maternal and child health, specifically the effect of movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep) on infant growth, development and well being.

Alessandra has developed methodology for measuring infant movement; and was instrumental in the design, development and feasibility testing of an infant wearable band for the objective measurement of infant movement using accelerometry. Alessandra is particularly interested in how the care giving environment can influence infant movement and thus early childhood development.

Twitter: @A_Prioreschi

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April 16, 2020
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


United Kingdom


CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Seminar Series