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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1896; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091896

Physical Activity and Fundamental Motor Skill Performance of 5–10 Year Old Children in Three Different Playgrounds

1
School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Victoria, Australia
2
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia
3
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Environments, Food Environments, and Public Health)
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Abstract

Playgrounds provide opportunities for children to engage in physical activity and develop their fundamental motor skills. The aim of this descriptive pilot study was to examine whether playground design facilitated different levels of physical activity and fundamental motor skills. Children aged 5 to 10 (n = 57) were recruited from three independent playgrounds located in Melbourne (Australia). Whilst playing, children wore accelerometers which measured time spent in physical activity and direct observations recorded fundamental motor skills and play equipment use. A general linear model with playground type as the predictor and adjusting for monitor wear-time identified whether mean time in physical activity was different for the three playgrounds. Frequencies and a one-way ANOVA assessed whether the observed mean number of fundamental motor skills varied between playgrounds. On average, 38.1% of time (12.0 min) was spent in moderate- vigorous-intensity physical activity. Children in the traditional playground (n = 16) engaged in more moderate-intensity physical activity (9.4 min) than children in the adventure playground (n = 21), (5.6 min) (p = 0.027). There were no significant associations with vigorous-intensity physical activity or fundamental motor skills between playgrounds. Children performed few fundamental motor skills but used a wider variety of equipment in the contemporary and adventure playgrounds. Playgrounds need to maximise opportunities for children to engage in physical activity and develop fundamental motor skills. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; fundamental motor skills; playground; children; play; design physical activity; fundamental motor skills; playground; children; play; design
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Adams, J.; Veitch, J.; Barnett, L. Physical Activity and Fundamental Motor Skill Performance of 5–10 Year Old Children in Three Different Playgrounds. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1896.

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