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The effect of school recess interventions on physical activity: a systematic review

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Background

    The benefits of physical activity to maintain

    optimal health and well-being in children and adolescents

    are undisputed. The school environment offers opportuni-

    ties for children to be physically active.

    Objective

    The aim of this review is to systematically

    examine the effects of recess-based interventions on the

    physical activity (PA) levels of school-aged children and

    adolescents.

    Data Sources

    A systematic literature search was con-

    ducted to identify papers reporting interventions to pro-

    mote PA during school recess and/or lunchtime periods.

    The search was conducted in six databases (PubMed,

    SPORTDiscusTM, Web of Science, Proquest, Cochrane and

    Scopus) for papers published between January 2000 and

    April 2011.

    Study Selection

    Articles were included in the review if

    (i) they reported the findings of an intervention targeting

    PA levels of children and/or adolescents during school

    recess and/or lunchtime; (ii) have a measure of PA as an

    outcome variable; (iii) participants were aged between 5

    and 18 years; and (iv) were published in English.

    Methods

    Two authors independently searched the litera-

    ture using the same search strategies to identify papers

    reporting interventions that promote PA during school

    recess and lunchtime periods. Methodological quality was

    assessed using an adapted eight item assessment scale. The

    effects of the interventions were assessed with a rating

    system used in a recent review of interventions in youth.

    Results

    The search originally retrieved 2,265 articles.

    Nine published peer-reviewed journal articles met the

    inclusion criteria for this review. Eight studies used ran-

    domized controlled trials and one was a controlled trial.

    Three studies demonstrated high methodological quality

    (33%). None of the studies adequately reported the ran-

    domization procedure or used power calculations. Few

    studies reported potential confounders and three studies

    had less than a 6 week follow-up. Five studies demon-

    strated a positive intervention effect on children’s PA

    levels, with four reporting statistically significant increases

    and two reporting significant decreases in recess PA. The

    summary of the levels of evidence for intervention effects

    found inconclusive results for all intervention types, though

    promising strategies that require further investigation were

    identified.

    Limitations

    Whilst every effort was made to ensure that

    this review was as encompassing as possible, it may be

    limited by its search terms especially if there were studies

    with unclear titles or abstracts. In addition, only manu-

    scripts published in English were considered, eliminating

    any possible studies published in other languages.

    Conclusions

    All of the studies used an objective measure

    to assess PA outcomes, although several criteria were

    consistently absent from the studies. The levels of evidence

    were not sufficient to establish conclusive intervention

    effects on children’s recess PA. This could be due to the

    small number of published studies. There is a need for

    higher-quality intervention research to strengthen pub-

    lished findings to inform recess PA interventions. Inter-

    vention research is needed in adolescents due to the

    absence of school recess intervention research in this

    population.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Parrish, A., Okely, A. D., Stanley, R. M. & Ridgers, N. D. (2013). The effect of school recess interventions on physical activity: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 43 (4), 287-299.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84876547850

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1205&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/206

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 287

End Page


  • 299

Volume


  • 43

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • New Zealand

Abstract


  • Background

    The benefits of physical activity to maintain

    optimal health and well-being in children and adolescents

    are undisputed. The school environment offers opportuni-

    ties for children to be physically active.

    Objective

    The aim of this review is to systematically

    examine the effects of recess-based interventions on the

    physical activity (PA) levels of school-aged children and

    adolescents.

    Data Sources

    A systematic literature search was con-

    ducted to identify papers reporting interventions to pro-

    mote PA during school recess and/or lunchtime periods.

    The search was conducted in six databases (PubMed,

    SPORTDiscusTM, Web of Science, Proquest, Cochrane and

    Scopus) for papers published between January 2000 and

    April 2011.

    Study Selection

    Articles were included in the review if

    (i) they reported the findings of an intervention targeting

    PA levels of children and/or adolescents during school

    recess and/or lunchtime; (ii) have a measure of PA as an

    outcome variable; (iii) participants were aged between 5

    and 18 years; and (iv) were published in English.

    Methods

    Two authors independently searched the litera-

    ture using the same search strategies to identify papers

    reporting interventions that promote PA during school

    recess and lunchtime periods. Methodological quality was

    assessed using an adapted eight item assessment scale. The

    effects of the interventions were assessed with a rating

    system used in a recent review of interventions in youth.

    Results

    The search originally retrieved 2,265 articles.

    Nine published peer-reviewed journal articles met the

    inclusion criteria for this review. Eight studies used ran-

    domized controlled trials and one was a controlled trial.

    Three studies demonstrated high methodological quality

    (33%). None of the studies adequately reported the ran-

    domization procedure or used power calculations. Few

    studies reported potential confounders and three studies

    had less than a 6 week follow-up. Five studies demon-

    strated a positive intervention effect on children’s PA

    levels, with four reporting statistically significant increases

    and two reporting significant decreases in recess PA. The

    summary of the levels of evidence for intervention effects

    found inconclusive results for all intervention types, though

    promising strategies that require further investigation were

    identified.

    Limitations

    Whilst every effort was made to ensure that

    this review was as encompassing as possible, it may be

    limited by its search terms especially if there were studies

    with unclear titles or abstracts. In addition, only manu-

    scripts published in English were considered, eliminating

    any possible studies published in other languages.

    Conclusions

    All of the studies used an objective measure

    to assess PA outcomes, although several criteria were

    consistently absent from the studies. The levels of evidence

    were not sufficient to establish conclusive intervention

    effects on children’s recess PA. This could be due to the

    small number of published studies. There is a need for

    higher-quality intervention research to strengthen pub-

    lished findings to inform recess PA interventions. Inter-

    vention research is needed in adolescents due to the

    absence of school recess intervention research in this

    population.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Parrish, A., Okely, A. D., Stanley, R. M. & Ridgers, N. D. (2013). The effect of school recess interventions on physical activity: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 43 (4), 287-299.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84876547850

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1205&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/206

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 287

End Page


  • 299

Volume


  • 43

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • New Zealand