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Article Title

COMPARISON OF MODERATE TO VIGOROUS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MINUTES DURING ORGANIZED INDOOR ACTIVITIES, INDOOR FREE PLAY, AND OUTDOOR FREE PLAY

Abstract

Erin E. Holt1, Dylan Oatman2, & Bridgette Schneekloth2; 1Baker University, Baldwin City, KS, 2University of Nebraska Kearney, Kearney, NE

Recess and play are an important part of a child’s growth and development--physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. School recess provides an opportunity for elementary students to accumulate 30-45 minutes of physical activity per day. However, during inclement weather, recess is spent indoors, which normally reduces minutes of physical activity due to the options allowed to students (ie, computer or study time). PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during organized indoor recess activities and indoor free play. Secondarily, we examined minutes of MVPA for various indoor and outdoor recess activities. METHODS: Ninety-nine elementary students (4th-5th grade; 50 females; 49 males) participated in organized indoor recess activities (geofitness, active dance video game, and small group games) and indoor free play while wearing accelerometers to assess minutes of MVPA. Lunchtime recess consists of a 20 minute time period. The difference in MVPA between organized indoor recess and indoor free play was calculated using a t-test (p<0.05). Differences between all recess activities were calculated using an ANOVA (p<0.05). RESULTS: Minutes of MVPA attained from organized indoor recess activities (3.31 ± 3.49 min) was significantly greater (p<0.05) than that of indoor free play (1.58 ± 2.27 min). MVPA minutes for active dance video game (2.31 ± 1.98 min), small group games (2.60 ± 2.82 min), and free play (2.77 ± 3.13 min) significantly differed from geofitness (4.60 ± 4.35 min) and outdoor recess free play (4.61 ± 4.41 min, p<0.05), but did not significantly differ from each other (p<0.05). Both organized indoor recess activities and indoor free play differed significantly (p<0.05) from the more sedentary options of study time (0.82 ± 0.85 min) and computer time (0.80 ± 0.91 min). CONCLUSIONS: Organized indoor recess activities are a good way to provide elementary students with physical activity compared to other traditional indoor recess options. While indoor recess activities are not planned daily, creating an organized indoor recess program that provides physically active alternatives during inclement weather is one way to potentially provide MVPA to students similar to outdoor recess free play.

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