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Int J Pediatr Obes. 2007;2(3):153-8.

The effects of increasing outdoor play time on physical activity in Latino preschool children.

Author information

  • 1Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine and Division of General Pediatrics, University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5705, USA. sofiya.alhassan@stanford.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A randomized controlled pilot study to test the hypothesis that increasing preschool children's outdoor free play time increases their daily physical activity levels.

METHODS:

Physical activity was assessed by accelerometers for four consecutive school days in thirty-two Latino children (3.6+/-0.5 years) attending a preschool for low-income families. After two days of baseline physical activity assessment, participants were randomly assigned to an intervention (RECESS; n =17) or control (CON; n =15) group. The RECESS group received two additional 30-minute periods of outdoor free play time per day for two days. The CON group followed their normal classroom schedule. Between group differences in physical activity variables were tested with a Wilcoxon rank-sum test.

RESULTS:

There were no statistically significant differences between groups in changes from baseline in average total daily (CON, 48.2+/-114.5; RECESS, 58.2+/-74.6) and during school day (CON, 64.6+/-181.9; RECESS, 59.7+/-79.1) counts per minute, or total daily (CON, 0.4+/-1.3; RECESS, 0.3+/-0.8) and during school day (CON, 0.6+/-2.1; RECESS, 0.5+/-0.8) percent of time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Substantially increasing preschoolers' outdoor free play time did not increase their physical activity levels.

PMID:
17852547
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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