The Effect of an Emerging School Playground Strategy to Encourage Children's Physical Activity: The Accelerometer Intensities from Movable Playground and Lunchtime Activities in Youth (AIM-PLAY) Study

Brendon Hyndman, Leanne Lester

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    An emerging strategy to enhance school children’s opportunities for unstructured
    physical activity opportunities is to implement diverse materials within school playgrounds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a movable/recycled materials playground intervention on elementary school children’s
    individually measured physical activity intensities and sedentary behavior. The
    Accelerometer Intensities from Movable Playground and Lunchtime Activities in
    Youth (AIM-PLAY) study consisted of a movable/recycled materials intervention that
    included baseline, a seven-week post-test and an eight-month follow-up data collection phase. Children at an intervention school (n=54) and a matched control school (n=79) aged 5 to 12 years participated in the AIM-PLAY study.
    Accelerometers were used to measure the proportion of lunch breaks that children spent in each physical activity intensity, counts per minute and sedentary behavior. A multilevel mixed-effect linear regression model revealed that children in the intervention elementary school spent a significantly greater proportion of their lunch breaks in moderate and moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and
    lower proportion in sedentary behavior at post-test and follow-up than children in the control elementary school. The AIM-PLAY study findings suggest that the presence of movable/recycled materials can have a significant, positive long-term effect on children’s engagement in higher intensity physical activity during school lunch breaks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-128
    Number of pages20
    JournalChildren, Youth and Environments
    Volume25
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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