Exploring early childhood playground design as a strategy for obesity prevention

Deepika Mathur, Supriya Mariam Mathew, Brendon Hyndman, Elizabeth Mcdonald, AB Chang, Rolf Gerritsen

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    Increasing physical activity is a crucial preventive strategy to develop young children’s health habits across their lifespan. Participation in physical activity, particularly among children, not only reduces obesity but also contributes to the prevention of chronic diseases. One way of establishing early habits of physical activity is by increasing active play in preschool children. Limited evidence exists at the preschool level on young children’s use of pre-school playgrounds, and even less on seasonal variation of play. This pilot study aimed to map activity levels of three to five-year olds in a pre-school playground in order to identify physical activity levels undertaken in the outdoor play areas and how these physical activities varied across seasons. The findings indicate a variation in play patterns and activity levels in different seasons and highlight the need for a larger research study that examines this phenomenon in more diverse contexts. More importantly, the findings suggest the need for appropriate methodologies that can best capture data for examining therelationship between the physical environment of pre-school playgrounds and improved physical activity outcomes in young children.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventDeveloping Northern Australia Conference: Progress, Growth and Investment - Pullman Cairns International Hotel, Cairns, Australia
    Duration: 19 Jun 201720 Jun 2017


    ConferenceDeveloping Northern Australia Conference


    • Childhood obesity
    • Physical activity
    • Playground design


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