Children's Physical Activity Behavior during School Recess

A Pilot Study Using GPS, Accelerometer, Participant Observation, and Go-Along Interview

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Abstract

Schoolyards are recognized as important settings for physical activity interventions during recess. However, varying results have been reported. This pilot study was conducted to gain in-depth knowledge of children's physical activity behavior during recess using a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative GPS and accelerometer measurements with qualitative go-along group interviews and participant observations. Data were collected during three weekdays in a public school in Denmark. Eighty-one children (47 girls) wore an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X) and GPS (QStarz BT-Q1000xt), sixteen children participated in go-along group interviews, and recess behavior was observed using an ethnographical participant observation approach. All data were analyzed separated systematically answering the Five W Questions. Children were categorized into Low, Middle and High physical activity groups and these groups were predominantly staying in three different locations during recess: school building, schoolyard and field, respectively. Mostly girls were in the building remaining in there because of a perceived lack of attractive outdoor play facilities. The children in the schoolyard were predominantly girls who preferred the schoolyard over the field to avoid the competitive soccer games on the field whereas boys dominated the field playing soccer. Using a mixed-methods approach to investigate children's physical activity behavior during recess helped gain in-depth knowledge that can aid development of future interventions in the school environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0148786
JournalP L o S One
Volume11
Issue number2
Number of pages17
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Accelerometers
physical activity
Global positioning system
interviews
Observation
Interviews
Exercise
School buildings
Soccer
Wear of materials
actigraphy
public schools
development aid
Denmark
methodology

Cite this

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title = "Children's Physical Activity Behavior during School Recess: A Pilot Study Using GPS, Accelerometer, Participant Observation, and Go-Along Interview",
abstract = "Schoolyards are recognized as important settings for physical activity interventions during recess. However, varying results have been reported. This pilot study was conducted to gain in-depth knowledge of children's physical activity behavior during recess using a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative GPS and accelerometer measurements with qualitative go-along group interviews and participant observations. Data were collected during three weekdays in a public school in Denmark. Eighty-one children (47 girls) wore an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X) and GPS (QStarz BT-Q1000xt), sixteen children participated in go-along group interviews, and recess behavior was observed using an ethnographical participant observation approach. All data were analyzed separated systematically answering the Five W Questions. Children were categorized into Low, Middle and High physical activity groups and these groups were predominantly staying in three different locations during recess: school building, schoolyard and field, respectively. Mostly girls were in the building remaining in there because of a perceived lack of attractive outdoor play facilities. The children in the schoolyard were predominantly girls who preferred the schoolyard over the field to avoid the competitive soccer games on the field whereas boys dominated the field playing soccer. Using a mixed-methods approach to investigate children's physical activity behavior during recess helped gain in-depth knowledge that can aid development of future interventions in the school environment.",
author = "Pawlowski, {Charlotte Skau} and Andersen, {Henriette Bondo} and Jens Troelsen and Jasper Schipperijn",
year = "2016",
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T2 - A Pilot Study Using GPS, Accelerometer, Participant Observation, and Go-Along Interview

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AU - Troelsen, Jens

AU - Schipperijn, Jasper

PY - 2016

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N2 - Schoolyards are recognized as important settings for physical activity interventions during recess. However, varying results have been reported. This pilot study was conducted to gain in-depth knowledge of children's physical activity behavior during recess using a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative GPS and accelerometer measurements with qualitative go-along group interviews and participant observations. Data were collected during three weekdays in a public school in Denmark. Eighty-one children (47 girls) wore an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X) and GPS (QStarz BT-Q1000xt), sixteen children participated in go-along group interviews, and recess behavior was observed using an ethnographical participant observation approach. All data were analyzed separated systematically answering the Five W Questions. Children were categorized into Low, Middle and High physical activity groups and these groups were predominantly staying in three different locations during recess: school building, schoolyard and field, respectively. Mostly girls were in the building remaining in there because of a perceived lack of attractive outdoor play facilities. The children in the schoolyard were predominantly girls who preferred the schoolyard over the field to avoid the competitive soccer games on the field whereas boys dominated the field playing soccer. Using a mixed-methods approach to investigate children's physical activity behavior during recess helped gain in-depth knowledge that can aid development of future interventions in the school environment.

AB - Schoolyards are recognized as important settings for physical activity interventions during recess. However, varying results have been reported. This pilot study was conducted to gain in-depth knowledge of children's physical activity behavior during recess using a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative GPS and accelerometer measurements with qualitative go-along group interviews and participant observations. Data were collected during three weekdays in a public school in Denmark. Eighty-one children (47 girls) wore an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X) and GPS (QStarz BT-Q1000xt), sixteen children participated in go-along group interviews, and recess behavior was observed using an ethnographical participant observation approach. All data were analyzed separated systematically answering the Five W Questions. Children were categorized into Low, Middle and High physical activity groups and these groups were predominantly staying in three different locations during recess: school building, schoolyard and field, respectively. Mostly girls were in the building remaining in there because of a perceived lack of attractive outdoor play facilities. The children in the schoolyard were predominantly girls who preferred the schoolyard over the field to avoid the competitive soccer games on the field whereas boys dominated the field playing soccer. Using a mixed-methods approach to investigate children's physical activity behavior during recess helped gain in-depth knowledge that can aid development of future interventions in the school environment.

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