Physical activity and fundamental motor skill performance of 5–10 year old children in three different playgrounds
journal contributionposted on 31.08.2018, 00:00 authored by Jessie Adams, Jenny VeitchJenny Veitch, Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett
Playgrounds provide opportunities for children to engage in physical activity and develop their fundamental motor skills. The aim of this descriptive pilot study was to examine whether playground design facilitated different levels of physical activity and fundamental motor skills. Children aged 5 to 10 (n = 57) were recruited from three independent playgrounds located in Melbourne (Australia). Whilst playing, children wore accelerometers which measured time spent in physical activity and direct observations recorded fundamental motor skills and play equipment use. A general linear model with playground type as the predictor and adjusting for monitor wear-time identified whether mean time in physical activity was different for the three playgrounds. Frequencies and a one-way ANOVA assessed whether the observed mean number of fundamental motor skills varied between playgrounds. On average, 38.1% of time (12.0 min) was spent in moderate- vigorous-intensity physical activity. Children in the traditional playground (n = 16) engaged in more moderate-intensity physical activity (9.4 min) than children in the adventure playground (n = 21), (5.6 min) (p = 0.027). There were no significant associations with vigorous-intensity physical activity or fundamental motor skills between playgrounds. Children performed few fundamental motor skills but used a wider variety of equipment in the contemporary and adventure playgrounds. Playgrounds need to maximise opportunities for children to engage in physical activity and develop fundamental motor skills.