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Active by Design: Promoting Physical Activity through School Ground Greening


Dyment, JE and Bell, A, Active by Design: Promoting Physical Activity through School Ground Greening, Children's Geographies, 5, (4) pp. 463-477. ISSN 1473-3285 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/14733280701631965


Green school grounds exhibit a greater diversity of landscaping and design features than conventional school grounds, thus enhancing the quantity and quality of physical activity among elementary school children. Through greening, school grounds diversify the play repertoire, creating opportunities for boys and girls of all ages, interests and abilities to be more physically active. This paper builds on a 2006 study (Bell and Dyment, 2006, Grounds for Action: Promoting Physical Activity through School Ground Greening in Canada, Toronto, Ontario: Evergreen) and explores factors related to school ground design and culture that both limit and enable opportunities for physical activity. Questionnaires (N = 105) were completed by teachers, parents, and administrators associated with 59 schools across Canada. Results indicate that in order to stimulate active play, school grounds should be designed to provide adequate space, diverse play opportunities and interaction with natural elements. Safety, comfort and maintenance issues also need to be taken into consideration at the design stage. With respect to school ground culture, children are more active when rules, policies and supervision allow for non-competitive, open-ended play, as well as opportunities to care for the garden or green space. The implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations are offered for policy makers. © 2007 Taylor & Francis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dyment, JE (Associate Professor Janet Dyment)
ID Code:50717
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2011-09-29

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