Physical activity levels of children during school playtime.

Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.32). 02/2006; 36(4):359-71. DOI: 10.2165/00007256-200636040-00005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT School represents a suitable setting for intervention programmes aiming to promote physical activity to benefit health. During the school day, physical education and school playtime offer children regular opportunities to engage in physical activity. However, there is growing concern that, internationally, curricular time allocated to physical education is not meeting statutory guidelines. The effectiveness of the playground environment to promote physical activity has been considered as a complementary setting to physical education. Physical activity guidelines state that children should engage in at least 1 hour of moderate intensity physical activity a day. Currently no empirically tested guidelines exist for physical activity levels during playtime. However, studies cited in this article indicate that playtime can contribute between 5-40% of recommended daily physical activity levels when no interventions have been utilised. The limited school-based investigations that have been reported in the literature suggest that boys engage in more physical activity during playtime than girls. Studies that have implemented intervention strategies in order to promote physical activity levels indicate that playtime can substantially contribute towards daily optimal physical activity guidelines. Energy expenditure and physical activity levels have increased during playtime following the implementation of playtime-based interventions. In order to advance knowledge of children's physical activity during playtime, a number of key issues for consideration in future research are detailed. Research on children's use of playtime to be physically active and the extent of the contribution of playtime to daily physical activity guidelines is warranted.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Limited research has been conducted within Europe investigating the habitual physical activity (PA) levels and recess PA behaviours of children with Special Needs (SN). International evidence suggests that children and adolescents with disabilities and/or SN are less active than there non-SN peers (Pan, 2008). The aims of this study were to estimate the habitual PA levels and recess play behaviours of children that attended special schools, and to investigate whether PA levels and play behaviours differ by classification of SN. Methods Twenty-five children/adolescents (aged 8-16 years) from 3 special schools in the North West of England participated in this study. PA was monitored over a 7-day period using accelerometry. Recess behaviours were observed for 10 minutes during one recess period using the System for Observing Children’s Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP). Participants’ individual special need(s) were reported by parents and participants were categorised into one of three groups, namely: autism (AUS), behavioural and emotional needs (BEN) and any other SN (OTH). Results Participants failed to meet the recommended daily amount of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day (group mean 46.88 minutes, SD = 9.10). SN group comparisons found that participants with BEN (65.55 min, SD = 20.50) were significantly more active than participants with AUS (43.40 min, SD = 27.50) and OTH (32.35 min, SD = 17.84) (p ≤ 0.05). Using SOCARP, group differences in recess MVPA were observed between the groups, (BEN group: 65.54%, AUS: 43.40% and OTH: 37.92%) however these differences were not statistically significant. Participants with AUS spent more time playing alone and less time playing in groups in comparison to the BEN and OTH groups (p≤ 0.05). Furthermore, interactions between all participants and their peers were low, with a group mean of 3 interactions per 10 minute observational period. Discussion Findings of the study suggest that children and adolescents with SN did not meet the national PA guidelines of 60 minutes MVPA per day. Furthermore, children with BEN were more habitually active than those with AUS and OTH. Mean data also suggest that children with BEN took part in more MVPA during recess. In addition, AUS participants spent less time playing in groups than OTH and BEN, suggesting that recess behaviours differ by SN. Larger studies are required to gain a better understanding of recess behaviours and the habitual physical activity levels within SN youth.
    European College for Sports Sciences, Liverpool,UK; 01/2011
  • 1º edição 01/2014; Novas Edições Acadêmicas., ISBN: 978-3-639-68775-0
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of two school-based physical education (PE) programmes (exercise-based and games-based) compared with traditional PE, on health- and skill-related physical fitness components in children in Tirana, Albania. Participants were 378 first-grade (6.8 years) and 389 fourth-grade (9.8 years) children attending four randomly selected schools in Tirana. Twenty-four school classes within these schools were randomly selected (stratified by school and school grade) to participate as exercise group (EG), games group (GG) and control group (CG). Both EG and GG intervention programmes were taught by professional PE teachers using station/circuit teaching framework while CG referred to traditional PE school lessons by a general teacher. All programmes ran in parallel and lasted 5 months, having the same frequency (twice weekly) and duration (45 min). Heart rate (HR) monitoring showed that intensity during PE lessons was significantly higher in the intervention groups compared with control (P < 0.001). Both PE exercise- and games programmes significantly improved several health- and skill-related fitness indicators compared with traditional PE lessons (e.g. gross motor skill summary score: 9.4 (95% CI 7.9; 10.9) for exercise vs. control and 6.5 (95% CI 5.1; 8.1) for games vs. control, cardiorespiratory fitness: 2.0 ml O2 · min(-1) · kg(-1) (95% CI 1.5; 2.4) for exercise vs. control and 1.4 ml O2 · min(-1) · kg(-1) (95% CI 1.0; 1.8) for games vs. control). Furthermore, compared to games-based PE, exercise-based PE showed more positive changes in some gross motor coordination skills outcomes, coordination skills outcomes and cardiorespiratory fitness. The results from this study show that exercise- and games-based PE represents a useful strategy for improving health- and skill-related physical fitness in Albanian elementary school children. In addition, the study shows that exercise-based PE was more effective than games-based PE in improving gross motor function and cardiorespiratory fitness.
    Journal of Sports Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1080/02640414.2015.1031161 · 2.10 Impact Factor


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Jun 5, 2014