Recess physical activity and perceived school environment among elementary school children

Kaori Ishii*, Ai Shibata, Mai Sato, Koichiro Oka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Differences in recess physical activity (PA) according to perceived school environment among elementary school children were examined. Participants were 103 children from two schools in Japan. PA was measured using accelerometry for seven consecutive days. Time spent in sedentary or PA (light, moderate, or vigorous) during their morning recess (25 min) and lunch recess (15 min) was determined. The School Physical Activity Environment Scale (three factors: equipment, facility, and safety) was used to investigate perceived school environment. Environmental factor scores were assigned to low or high groups for each factor by median. An analysis of covariance, with grade as the covariate, was conducted separately by gender to examine differences in PA between two groups. During lunch recess, boys in the high-equipment group spent significantly more time in moderate PA (high: 1.5; low: 0.8 min) whereas girls in this group spent less time in light PA (9.3, 11.0). Boys in the high-facility group spent significantly less time in sedentary (2.3, 3.9) and more time in vigorous PA (2.4, 1.4) during lunch recess, and girls spent more time in moderate (2.1, 1.2) and vigorous PA (1.9, 1.3) during morning recess. Differences were observed in recess PA according to school environment perceptions. The present study may be useful for further intervention studies for the promotion of PA during recess.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7195-7206
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 15


  • Children
  • Environment
  • Physical activity
  • Recess
  • School

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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