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Prev Med. 2008 Jun;46(6):532-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.01.006. Epub 2008 Jan 26.

Increasing preschoolers' physical activity intensities: an activity-friendly preschool playground intervention.

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  • 1University of Utah, College of Health, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, 250 South, 1850 East, Room 206, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.



The purpose of this study was to see if portable play equipment added to a preschool playground resulted in higher intensities of physical activity among 3-5-year-old children.


Activity-friendly equipment was added to an outdoor preschool playground. Accelerometry-measured intensities of 15-s epochs of physical activity were tracked for 5 pre-intervention and 5 post-intervention days during outdoor play. Data were collected during fall 2005 in Salt Lake City for 64 preschoolers aged 3, 4, and 5 years.


After the intervention, both male and female 3- to 5-year-olds significantly decreased sedentary behavior and significantly increased light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity as measured by accelerometry.


Results suggest simple interventions, requiring little teacher training, can yield increases in healthy physical activity.

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