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Variables associated with children's physical activity levels during recess : the A-CLASS project

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Nicky RidgersNicky Ridgers, S Fairclough, G Stratton
Background
School recess provides a daily opportunity for children to engage in physically active behaviours. However, few studies have investigated what factors may influence children's physical activity levels in this context. Such information may be important in the development and implementation of recess interventions. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between a range of recess variables and children's sedentary, moderate and vigorous physical activity in this context.

Methods
One hundred and twenty-eight children (39% boys) aged 9-10 years old from 8 elementary schools had their physical activity levels observed during school recess using the System for Observing Children's Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP). Playground variables data were also collected at this time. Multilevel prediction models identified variables that were significantly associated with children's sedentary, moderate and vigorous physical activity during recess.

Results

Girls engaged in 13.8% more sedentary activity and 8.2% less vigorous activity than boys during recess. Children with no equipment provision during recess engaged in more sedentary activity and less moderate activity than children provided with equipment. In addition, as play space per child increased, sedentary activity decreased and vigorous activity increased. Temperature was a significant negatively associated with vigorous activity.

Conclusions
Modifiable and unmodifiable factors were associated with children's sedentary, moderate and vigorous physical activity during recess. Providing portable equipment and specifying areas for activities that dominate the elementary school playground during recess may be two approaches to increase recess physical activity levels, though further research is needed to evaluate the short and long-term impact of such strategies.

History

Journal

International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity

Volume

7

Issue

74

Pagination

1 - 8

Publisher

BioMed Central Ltd.

Location

London, England

ISSN

1479-5868

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, The Authors