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Longitudinal Follow-Up of Physical Activity During School Recess: Impact of Playground Markings
- Presented on 23 October 2012
Background To promote physical activity (PA) among children, few studies have reported long-term effects of playground markings during school recess. 
Aim The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of a playground design on children’s recess PA across 18 months and to evaluate the influence of covariates on the intervention effects.
Methods Three hundred and one children (aged 6-11 years) were selected from 3 elementary schools located in high- socioeconomic status (high-SES) and low-socioeconomic status (low-SES) areas. In each area, one experimental school (high-SES_Exp and low-SES_Exp) received a recess-based intervention; the third one (low-SES_Con) served as a control group. The design of playgrounds was based on a multicolored zonal design. Children’s PA was measured with an uniaxial accelerometer twice a day (morning and afternoon recess) during a 4-day school week. Times spent below and above different PA levels, varying from light PA (LPA, <3 METs), moderate PA (MPA<6METs, vigorous PA (VPA>6METs) to very high PA (VHPA, >9METs), were calculated before and after 6, 12 and 18 month intervention. A three level (time, pupil, school) multilevel analysis was used to control the intervention effect across time on MPA, VPA and VHPA .
Results Table 1 showed the effects of the multicolored design on both MPA, VPA and VHPA. Any positive significant intervention effect was found for MPA and VPA. Moreover, low-SES_Con spent more time in VHPA than the two experimental groups. Children from low-SES areas spent more time in VPA and VHPA while high-SES children spent more time in MPA.
Conclusions Playground markings intervention had any long-term effects on children’s school recess PA.
References  Ridgers N.D.; Fairclough S.J.; Stratton G. J Phys Act Health., 2010, 7(2), 167.  Twisk J.W.R. Applied Multilevel Analysis. Cambridge University Press; 2006.