DETERMINATION OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DURING SCHOOL RECESS COMBINING MEASUREMENTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND CHILDREN’S PERSPECTIVE
The aim of this study was to determine physical activity levels of children during school recess, taking into account children’s perceptions as well as observations during recess. A mixed method was used, including the System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth (SOPLAY) and focus groups. Participants included students from 3 public schools with regular and alternating schedules, who were observed during their school breaks. In addition, focus groups were held and descriptive statistics were used. A factorial variance test (2x2) was also used to determine if there were differences between levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity among school types. Results of focus groups were organized into categories. Students exhibited 47.98 sedentary activity and 52.02 moderate-vigorous physical activity during school recess, with girls being more sedentary than boys. Students with an alternating schedule are more active than those with a regular schedule. Participants perceived reduced space to play and little support from teachers as barriers to do physical activity. In conclusion, this study showed that a little over 50% of students perform physical activity during school recess, with children in alternating schedules being more active than those with a regular schedule. Participants perceive that school environment does not favor physical activity, due to environmental barriers. Based on the results of this study, physical activity should be promoted during school recess, taking into consideration barriers in natural, social, physical, and organizational environments.
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