Girls are typically less active in the schoolyard during recess than boys. It is therefore necessary to understand influences on girls’ recess activity in schoolyards. The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate girls’ perceptions of physical environmental factors influencing recess physical activity in re-designed schoolyards and to compare the perceptions of girls from different age groups. In 2018, 50 girls from five Danish schools were interviewed using photo-elicitation. The girls were from Grade 4 (n
= 28, age 10–11) and Grade 6 (n
= 22, age 12–13). Data were analysed using pen profiles constructed from verbatim transcripts. Ten factors emerged: variety, accessibility, size, designated spaces, greenery, playground markings, active play facilities, sports facilities, play equipment, and speakers. Play facilities (trampolines, obstacle courses, dancing and gymnastic appliances) were favoured over traditional sport facilities. Designated spaces, greenery and speakers were important for feeling comfortable within the schoolyard. Although similar factors were raised by the two age groups, some factors were perceived as enablers by the youngest and as barriers by the oldest girls, highlighting the complexity of designing schoolyards that cater to all ages. A greater understanding of how different designs and facilities may be perceived by girls of different ages is important for the design of future schoolyards.
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