Children's Physical Activity Behavior during School Recess: A Pilot Study Using GPS, Accelerometer, Participant Observation, and Go-Along Interview
AuthorPawlowski, CS; Andersen, HB; Troelsen, J; Schipperijn, J
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sTroelsen, Jens
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsPawlowski, C. S., Andersen, H. B., Troelsen, J. & Schipperijn, J. (2016). Children's Physical Activity Behavior during School Recess: A Pilot Study Using GPS, Accelerometer, Participant Observation, and Go-Along Interview. PLOS ONE, 11 (2), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148786.
Access StatusOpen Access
Schoolyards are recognized as important settings for physical activity interventions during recess. However, varying results have been reported. This pilot study was conducted to gain in-depth knowledge of children's physical activity behavior during recess using a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative GPS and accelerometer measurements with qualitative go-along group interviews and participant observations. Data were collected during three weekdays in a public school in Denmark. Eighty-one children (47 girls) wore an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X) and GPS (QStarz BT-Q1000xt), sixteen children participated in go-along group interviews, and recess behavior was observed using an ethnographical participant observation approach. All data were analyzed separated systematically answering the Five W Questions. Children were categorized into Low, Middle and High physical activity groups and these groups were predominantly staying in three different locations during recess: school building, schoolyard and field, respectively. Mostly girls were in the building remaining in there because of a perceived lack of attractive outdoor play facilities. The children in the schoolyard were predominantly girls who preferred the schoolyard over the field to avoid the competitive soccer games on the field whereas boys dominated the field playing soccer. Using a mixed-methods approach to investigate children's physical activity behavior during recess helped gain in-depth knowledge that can aid development of future interventions in the school environment.
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