The SUNRISE project

Close up of a kid who is jumping in a puddle.
The SUNRISE project examines children's physical activity. lev dolgachov

SUNRISE - International Surveillance Study of Movement Behaviours in the Early Years is a project initiated by the University of Wollongong, Australia.

Physical activity early in life is important for future health. The movement patterns of pre-school aged children (i.e., 3-6 years) is a combination of sitting, standing and walking activities of varying intensities, in the form of play and other activities in daily life.

However, we do not know much about how these activities in combination with sleep affect each other and how they contribute to healthy growth and development. SUNRISE, the International Surveillance Study of Movement Behaviours in the Early Years, is a large international study in which movement patterns (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, screen time and sleep) in pre-schoolers in more than 40 different countries, including Sweden, will be mapped.

SUNRISE will measure >1000 Swedish pre-schoolers aged 3-6 years, in the pre-school environment. Children are instructed to do various activities to measure the child´s physical fitness as well as gross and fine motor skills. We also measure the children's height and weight, blood pressure, waist circumference and the children play two iPad games to test cognitive abilities, such as memory.

The children wear an accelerometer for seven consecutive days, attached around their waists, to measure their movement patterns. The children's parents also answer a digital questionnaire regarding their child’s diet, sleep, activity and screen time habits.

The data collected will be analysed at the group level. It will form the basis for evaluating how Swedish pre-schoolers meet the guidelines published by the World Health Organization for sleep, physical activity and screen time, for children aged 0-5 years, and will also be compared with international data from the other participating countries.

Here is a link to the main project's website (click for link), where further information about the study and the countries participating can be read.


  • Christine Delisle Nyström, post doc, KI
  • Maria Henström, post doc, KI