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Grounds for movement: Green school grounds as sites for promoting physical activity


Dyment, JE and Bell, A, Grounds for movement: Green school grounds as sites for promoting physical activity, Health Education Research, 23, (6) pp. 952-962. ISSN 0268-1153 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1093/her/cym059


An environmental factor of particular importance to children's physical activity levels appears to be the presence of parks and open space. Thus, in promoting children's health, school grounds merit consideration as a potential setting for intervention. This paper explores how 'green' school grounds, which contain a greater diversity of landscaping and design features, affect the quantity and quality of physical activity among elementary school children. Teachers, parents and administrators associated with 59 schools across Canada completed questionnaires (n = 105). Analysis reveals that 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. Complementing the rule-bound, competitive games supported by asphalt and turf playing fields, green school grounds invite children to jump, climb, dig, lift, rake, build, role play and generally get moving in ways that nurture all aspects of their health and development. Of particular significance is the potential to encourage moderate and light levels of physical activity by increasing the range of enjoyable, non-competitive, open-ended forms of play at school. Seen in this light, green school grounds stand to be an important intervention to be included in school health promotion initiatives. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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:50939
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:98
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2017-04-11

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