Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Public Health. 2006 Aug;16(4):415-9. Epub 2006 Jan 23.

Increasing children's physical activity levels during recess periods in elementary schools: the effects of providing game equipment.

Author information

  • 1Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University and Policy Research Center Sport, Physical Activity and Health, Belgium.



During recess, children can be active on a daily basis, making it an important school environmental factor for the promotion of health-related physical activity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of providing game equipment on children's physical activity levels during morning recess and lunch break in elementary schools.


Seven elementary schools were randomly assigned to the intervention group (four schools), including 122 children (75 boys, 47 girls, mean age: 10.8 +/- 0.6 years), and to the control group (three schools), including 113 children (46 boys, 67 girls, mean age: 10.9 +/- 0.7 years). Children's activity levels were measured before and three months after providing game equipment, using MTI accelerometers.


During lunch break, children's moderate and vigorous physical activity significantly increased in the intervention group (moderate: from 38 to 50%, vigorous: from 10 to 11%), while it decreased in the control group (moderate: from 44 to 39%, vigorous: from 11 to 5%). At morning recess, providing game equipment was effective in increasing children's moderate physical activity (from 41 to 45%), while it decreased in the control group (from 41 to 34%).


Providing game equipment during recess periods was found to be effective in increasing children's physical activity levels. This finding suggests that promoting physical activity through game equipment provision during recess periods can contribute to reach the daily activity levels recommended for good health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk