ERIC Number: EJ932787
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Examining Children's Physical Activity and Play Behaviors during School Playtime over Time
Ridgers, Nicola D.; Carter, Laura M.; Stratton, Gareth; McKenzie, Thomas L.
Health Education Research, v26 n4 p586-595 Aug 2011
School playtime (recess) provides children an opportunity to engage in a range of active and sedentary play behaviors on a daily basis. However, little data have investigated changes in playtime behaviors over time. The aim of this study was to investigate how children's physical activity levels, the size of their social group, play behaviors and social interactions changed over one academic year (Study 1), and during the transition from Year 5 (aged 9-10 years) to Year 6 (aged 10-11 years; Study 2). Primary school children were directly observed during school playtime using the System for Observing Children's Activity and Relationships during Play. Results revealed children engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least half of the intervals observed. Incidents of physical antisocial behavior significantly decreased, while incidents of verbal antisocial behavior and time spent alone increased across Study 1. Incidents of verbal antisocial behavior, time spent alone and engagement in playground games significantly decreased across Study 2. The data suggest that children are highly physically active during school playtime, and while their play behaviors and activity levels fluctuate, these fluctuations were generally small over one academic year and in the transition between Year 5 and Year 6.
Descriptors: Play, Intervals, Physical Activities, Antisocial Behavior, Physical Activity Level, Elementary School Students, Verbal Communication, Playgrounds, Child Behavior, Behavior Change, Peer Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A