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Physical activity and outdoor play of children in public playgrounds—do gender and social environment matter?

journal contribution
posted on 26.03.2019, 00:00 by AK Reimers, Stephanie SchoeppeStephanie Schoeppe, Y Demetriou, G Knapp
Background: Few studies have delved into the relationship of the social environment with children’s physical activity and outdoor play in public playgrounds by considering gender differences. The aim of the present study was to examine gender differences and the relationship of the social environment with children’s physical activity and outdoor play in public playgrounds. Methods: A quantitative, observational study was conducted at ten playgrounds in one district of a middle-sized town in Germany. The social environment, physical activity levels, and outdoor play were measured using a modified version of the System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth. Results: In total, 266 observations of children (117 girls/149 boys) between four and 12 years old were used in this analysis. Significant gender differences were found in relation to activity types, but not in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The presence of active children was the main explanatory variable for MVPA. In the models stratified by gender, the presence of opposite-sex children was a significant negative predictor of MVPA in girls but not in boys. Conclusions: The presence of active children contributes to children’s physical activity levels in public playgrounds. Girls’ physical activity seems to be suppressed in the presence of boys. © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

History

Volume

15

Issue

7

Start Page

1

End Page

14

Number of Pages

14

eISSN

1660-4601

ISSN

1661-7827

Publisher

M D P I AG, Switzerland

Additional Rights

CC BY 4.0

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

Acceptance Date

26/06/2018

External Author Affiliations

Technical University of Munich, Technische Universität Dortmund, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health