Exploring early childhood playground design as a strategy for obesity prevention

Deepika Mathur, Supriya Mathew, Brendon Hyndman, Elizabeth McDonald, Anne Chang, Rolf Gerritsen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)


Increasing physical activity participation is a crucial preventive strategy to develop young children’s health habits across the lifespan. Participation in physical activity, particularly among children, not only reduces obesity but also contributes to the prevention of chronic diseases. One way of establishing early habits of physical activity is by increasing active play in preschool children. Limited evidence exists at the preschool level on young children’s use of pre-school playgrounds, and even less on seasonal variation of play. This pilot study aimed to map activity levels of 3 to 5 year olds in a pre-school playground to identify physical activity levels undertaken in the outdoor play areas and how these physical activities varied across seasons. The findings indicate a variation in play patterns and activity levels in different seasons and highlight the need for a larger research study that examines this phenomenon in diverse contexts. More importantly the findings suggest the need for appropriate methodologies that can best capture data for examining the relationship between the physical environment of pre-school playgrounds and improved physical activity outcomes in young children.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference: Progress, Growth and Investment - Cairns, Australia
Duration: 19 Jun 201720 Jun 2017


Conference2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference


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