Play and Playground Design (08-10-20)

Andersen and colleagues studied how playground design influences how children (grades 4 to 9) play. The research team gathered data at three Danish schoolyards and reports that when activity in renovated schoolyards was compared to that in one that was mainly asphalt  “with few features” that “At two schools, time and physical activity increased in the renewed area, but for one school they decreased. The percentage of time spent in MVPA [moderate-to-vigorous physical activity] and LPA [light physical activity] only increased in the renewed area at school 1, while the percentage of time and PA [physical activity] decreased in the intervention area at school 3 after renewal. Courts for ballgames, foursquare markings and hills generated activity spots for both genders. Girls were active at a large screen for dancing activities, a lowered multi-court, a spider-web climbing structure and in an area with big tree stumps whereas the boys were active in-between features and on an obstacle trail. These findings emphasize the importance of providing a schoolyard with a variety of functional features close to each other when building activating schoolyards for both genders.”

Henriette Andersen, Lars Christiansen, Charlotte Pawlowski, and Jasper Schipperijn.  2019.  “What We Build Makes a Difference – Mapping Activating Schoolyard Features After Renewal Using GIS, GPS and Accelerometers.”  Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 191, 103617, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.103617