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The Importance of School Playgrounds for Active, Healthy Students

Abstract

The promotion of regular physical activity within society has become a major public health objective in an effort to improve health internationally and to prevent the development of obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes , cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mental health conditions. Childhood is a crucial period to develop health behaviours such as physical activity that can track into adolescence and to a lesser extent into adulthood. As students in some schools can be involved in playground opportunities via up to 4200 school breaks during their schooling (three times per day, 5 days per week, 39 weeks per year, 7 years of primary school ), the school playground is becoming an emerging focus for researchers . Additionally, school playground activities can contribute up to 50% of children’s recommended daily physical activity. Developing a greater understanding and awareness for researchers of the facilitators and barriers of students’ school playground activities for researchers is therefore vital in order to implement school playground strategies effectively in an attempt to achieve sustainable health benefits. Establishing physical activity habits for students via school playground opportunities is important, with recent international trends revealing that many students prefer sedentary activities despite physical activity opportunities being readily available. Despite school playgrounds being an essential stage to develop physical activity habits, our understanding of how to enhance and maintain the physical activity and health of school students is starting to be uncovered, necessitating a vital area of focus for researchers. This chapter outlines the important link between school playgrounds and active, healthy students.

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • Health
  • School playgrounds
  • Students

‘School playgrounds are a promising setting to promote children’s physical activity for sustained health outcomes’

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Hyndman, B. (2017). The Importance of School Playgrounds for Active, Healthy Students. In: Hyndman, B. (eds) Contemporary School Playground Strategies for Healthy Students. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-4738-1_1

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