Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Prev Med. 2012 Oct;55(4):319-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.07.014. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

Efficacy and feasibility of lowering playground density to promote physical activity and to discourage sedentary time during recess at preschool: a pilot study.

Author information

Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, Watersportlaan 2, Ghent, Belgium.



This pilot study examined if lowering playground density is feasible and effective in improving preschoolers' activity and sedentary levels during recess.


Between November and December 2011, a within-subject design was used to study preschoolers' activity via accelerometry during recesses in the usual conditions (baseline) and with lower playground density (intervention). During the intervention, preschools scheduled extra recesses so that the number of classes usually sharing the playground was halved. Effects were investigated, using two-level linear regression models, in 128 4- to 6-year-old children (69 boys) from 4 preschools in Ghent, Belgium. The four preschool principals filled in a questionnaire after the intervention.


At baseline, available play space was on average 7.4 (SD=1.7) m(2)/child; during the intervention this increased to 16.7 (SD=5.1) m(2)/child. The intervention was effective in decreasing sedentary time (-1 min; -5.1%) and increasing light-to-vigorous (+1 min; +5.1%) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (+0.8 min; +4.8%) during recess. None found it difficult to implement the intervention. All agreed it was possible to use this strategy in the future.


Although it was feasible to implement this intervention, improvements in preschoolers' activity levels were small. This intervention could especially be important for preschools with higher playground density.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center