Increasing preschoolers' physical activity intensities: an activity-friendly preschool playground intervention

Prev Med. 2008 Jun;46(6):532-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.01.006. Epub 2008 Jan 26.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to see if portable play equipment added to a preschool playground resulted in higher intensities of physical activity among 3-5-year-old children.

Methods: Activity-friendly equipment was added to an outdoor preschool playground. Accelerometry-measured intensities of 15-s epochs of physical activity were tracked for 5 pre-intervention and 5 post-intervention days during outdoor play. Data were collected during fall 2005 in Salt Lake City for 64 preschoolers aged 3, 4, and 5 years.

Results: After the intervention, both male and female 3- to 5-year-olds significantly decreased sedentary behavior and significantly increased light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity as measured by accelerometry.

Conclusions: Results suggest simple interventions, requiring little teacher training, can yield increases in healthy physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Child Welfare
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Play and Playthings*