The effectiveness of the Peaceful Playgrounds program
Playground markings are currently a popular intervention strategy in attempts to increase the levels of physical activity of students whilst they are at school.
Numerous playground research studies have shown that playground markings increase children’s physical activity levels during recess and lunch breaks.
Scientifically based research demonstrates that evidence exists to support the use of playground markings for improving children’s physical activity levels.
Findings of the playground research includes:
- Increase children’s physical activity levels. Use of playground markings is effective in increasing the amount of physical activity.
- Increase children’s energy expenditures. Students utilising playground markings increased their energy expenditure significantly over the control groups.
- Increase activity levels in primary and junior schools. Use of playgrounds painted with multicoloured markings increase physical activity.
- Decrease bullying. Use of playground markings, in conjunction with the Peaceful Playgrounds Program, were found to decrease playground bullying.
- Decrease playground confrontations. Use of playground markings, in conjunction with the Peaceful Playgrounds Program, were found to decrease playground confrontations.
- Decrease playground injuries. Use of playground markings, in conjunction with the Peaceful Playground program, were shown to decrease playground injuries.
Non-curricular avenues such as active play during school breaks have been established as a major source for children’s physical and cognitive development, yet there is little information for teachers on the influences affecting primary and secondary school students’ non-curricular physical activity. During this study focus groups and drawing were used to explore the broader influences on primary (n=47) and secondary (n=29) school students’ physical activity behaviour beyond the classroom. Barriers and facilitators to children’s physical activity were categorised using a multi-level social-ecological framework incorporating intrapersonal, interpersonal, physical environment and policy factors. Based on the drawings, comparisons between students’ existing play spaces and their perception of their ideal play space were made. Additionally, students depicted what features within a play space would encourage them to be active. The findings of the study indicate secondary school play spaces may need to incorporate more features to facilitate physical activity. The barriers and facilitators identified in this study provide information for teachers and school decision makers to consider when targeting children’s physical activity beyond school classrooms.
Enjoyment of physical activity is as an important determinant of children’s participation in physical activity. Despite this, there is an absence of reliable measures for assessing children’s enjoyment of play activities during school lunchtime. The purpose of this study was to develop and assess the reliability of the Lunchtime Enjoyment of Activity and Play (LEAP) Questionnaire.
Enjoyment and play during school lunchtime are correlated with children’s physical activity. Despite this, there is an absence of studies reporting children’s enjoyment of play during school lunchtime breaks. The purpose of this study was to examine the intraday and interday reliability of children’s enjoyment of school lunchtime play.
Peaceful Playgrounds research
Peaceful Playgrounds schools reported very positive impact of recess or physical activity on academic achievement, social development and general well-being. Major improvement in overall classroom behavior after recess, physical education, or school physical activity.