Promoting physical activity at the school playground: A quasi-experimental intervention study

Iván López-Fernández, María Molina-Jodar, Francisco J. Garrido-González, Carlos A. Pascual-Martos, José L. Chinchilla, Elvis A. Carnero

Abstract

In looking for new strategies to promote physical activity (PA), the purpose of this study was to determine whether providing equipment, playground markings, and a physical education (PE)-based intervention effectively increases PA levels during school recess. A total of 223 children (mean age = 7.10 years ± 0.6; 45.3% female) from three schools participated in this study in 2012. In the first intervention school (G1; n = 75) six previous PE classes teaching games for recess were performed and playground markings and game equipment were provided. In the second intervention school (G2; n = 68) only playground markings and game equipment were provided. The third school served as the control group (GC; n = 80). PA was assessed with pedometers. The increase in mean steps after intervention in G2 was higher than the G1 and GC (< 0.001). No differences between G1 and GC were observed at post-intervention (= 0.05). The effects did not vary by gender or BMI. Providing game equipment and playground marks may increase children PA in recess. Nevertheless, additional PE-based intervention did not imply an improvement, and was not effective in increasing PA.


Keywords

Physical education; Recess; Playtime; Child

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2016.112.05