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: BACKGROUND The promotion of physical activity and health has become a universal challenge. The Sotkamo Physical Activity as Civil Skill Program was implemented to increase students' physical activity by promoting supportive psychological and physical school environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the school-initiated physical activity program on secondary school students' self-reported physical activity. METHODS The sample included 847 students (experimental condition school = 208, control school = 639) at the age of 12 to 14 years from northeast and central Finland. The program was conducted across 1 academic year and 2 measurement phases were carried out using self-report questionnaires in April 2011 and 2012. RESULTS The findings highlighted that the program appeared to be effective as an approach to change the sharp decline in the pattern of Grade 7 students' self-reported physical activity across 1 school year. Specifically, change in the experimental condition students' self-reported physical activity was 13.4% higher compared the students in the control condition. CONCLUSION On the basis of current findings, increased opportunities for school day physical activities have the potential to affect large number of students and are an efficient strategy for promoting regular physical activity.
    Journal of School Health 01/2015; 85(2):125-134. DOI:10.1111/josh.12228 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background School physical education (PE) and playtime provide important opportunities for physical activity (PA). However, little research has assessed PA during primary school PE using accelerometry or compared PA during different lesson types. There is also a lack of research comparing PA during PE and playtime, despite suggestions that playtime promotes more PA. The primary aim of this study was to determine which types of PE lesson are most facilitative of PA. The secondary aim was to determine whether children are more active during PE or playtime.Methods Descriptive and fitness data were assessed in 20 children aged 8-9years from a single school. Over eight consecutive weeks PA was assessed during PE lessons, which were classified as either team games or movement activities. At the mid-week of data collection playtime PA was also assessed. PA was assessed using accelerometry and the percentage of time spent in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) calculated. Paired t-tests were used to compare MVPA during movement lessons and team games lessons and during PE and playtime.ResultsChildren spent 9.5% of PE lessons in MVPA and engaged in significantly more MVPA during team games (P¿<¿0.001). MVPA was also significantly higher during PE than playtime (P¿<¿0.01).Conclusions Children do not engage in sufficient PA during PE, but are most active during team games lessons; whilst PA during playtime is lower than PE. Interventions to increase PA during both PE and playtime are therefore required. PE interventions should target games lessons as they dominate the curriculum, encourage most PA and present the greatest potential for change. Playtime interventions should encourage participation in active games through the provision of playground equipment and markings.
    BMC Research Notes 01/2015; 8(1):12. DOI:10.1186/s13104-015-0979-1
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    ABSTRACT: Young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience significant delays in their fundamental motor skills (FMS) yet, FMS are virtually ignored in the intervention literature as traditional therapies focus on the core challenges in the social, communicative, and behavioural domains. This study sought to examine the effectiveness of a FMS intervention at improving the motor skills, adaptive behaviour, and social skills of 4 year old children with ASD. Motor Outcomes (Manuscript 1): Results demonstrated significant improvements in motor skills following the intervention; these improvements were retained at the 6-week follow-up. Adaptive Behaviour and Social Skill Outcomes (Manuscript 2): Results demonstrated individual gains in adaptive behaviour and social skills; although no significant group improvements were found. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that a FMS intervention can be effective at improving motor skills, and may result in individual behavioural improvements. These findings warrant further research with a larger sample.
    04/2014, Degree: Master of Health Sciences (Kinesiology), Supervisor: Meghann Lloyd


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