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
Children, Youth and Environments
An emerging strategy to enhance school children's opportunities for unstructured physical activity opportunities is to implement diverse materials within school playgrounds during school break periods. 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
... ime Activities in Youth (AIM-PLAY) study consisted of a movable/recycled materials intervention that included baseline, a 7-week post-test and an 8-month follow-up data collection phase. Children within an intervention school (n = 54) and a matched control school (n = 79) aged 5-to-12years-old participated in the AIM-PLAY study. Children's proportion of lunch breaks spent in each physical activity intensity, counts per minute (CPM) and sedentary behavior were measured using accelerometers. A multilevel mixed effect linear regression model was applied using STATA (version 12.0) using the xtmixed command to fit linear mixed models for each of the variables. It was revealed that children in the intervention elementary school spent a significantly greater proportion of lunch breaks in moderate and moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and less proportion in sedentary behavior at post-test (7-weeks) and follow-up (8months) than children in the control elementary school. The AIM-PLAY study findings suggest that the introduction of movable/recycled materials can have a significant, positive long-term intervention effect on children's engagement in higher intensity physical activity during school lunch breaks. University must be thanked for their assistance with administering accelerometers to the elementary school students. The researchers also thank Amanda Telford for contributions into conception and study design and Amanda Benson for contributions into study design.