Christopher M. Murphy1, Erin K. Howie1, Kari A. Weber2, Matthew J. Barenie3, Daboleena Thakur3, & Michael R. Thomsen3

3University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas; 2Department of Epidemiology, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas; 1University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Improvements that facilitate increases in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during recess may help children achieve daily MVPA levels, potentially increasing MVPA outside of school as well. Recess and play away from school are opportunities for children to accumulate physical activity. However, children are not meeting established levels of 60 minutes daily moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). A goal of the Little Rock Green Schoolyard Initiative (GSY) is to promote increased physical activity by improving school playgrounds for school and community use. School playgrounds as hubs for outdoor family-friendly activity may increase physical activity levels for children in and out of school. PURPOSE: Examine relationships in physical activity patterns among K-5th grade children attending public schools participating in the GSY. METHODS: Children attending four public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas were invited to wear a hip-worn accelerometer for 7 days, 24-hours/day during spring semester 2023. Recess times were identified from school schedules. Physical activity patterns were examined during recess and out of school to provide insight on daily physical activity in apparently unstructured settings. RESULTS: Children (n=50) accumulated 41.7 (SD 32.2) minutes per day in MVPA, which was equivalent on weekdays (41.6, SD 30.3 minutes) and weekend days (42.7, SD 39.0 minutes). Children averaged 5.0 (SD 5.6) minutes of MVPA per scheduled recess period and recess periods averaged 26.1 minutes (SD 7.8) in duration, with a mean of 20.2% of recess time spent in MVPA. A higher percentage of recess time spent in MVPA was associated with higher total MVPA (IRR 2.6, 95%CI: 1.8, 3.6). CONCLUSION: Children need more MVPA both in and out of school. MVPA during recess is a direct reflection of MVPA accumulated out of school. Increased MVPA during recess may result in increased MVPA out of school and on weekends.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This research was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01MD018192. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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