A Multicomponent Schoolyard Intervention Targeting Children's Recess Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior: Effects After 1 Year

Dave H. H. Van Kann*, Sanne I. de Vries, Jasper Schipperijn, Nanne K. de Vries, Maria W. J. Jansen, Stef P. J. Kremers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The aim of the study was to test the 12-month effects of a multicomponent physical activity (PA) intervention at schoolyards on morning recess PA levels of sixth-and seventh-grade children in primary schools, using accelerometry and additional global positioning system data. Methods: A quasi-experimental study design was used with 20 paired intervention and control schools. Global positioning system confirmatory analyses were applied to validate attendance at schoolyards during recess. Accelerometer data from 376 children from 7 pairs of schools were included in the final analyses. Pooled intervention effectiveness was tested by multilevel linear regression analyses, whereas effectiveness of intervention components was tested by multivariate linear regression analyses. Results: Children exposed to the multicomponent intervention increased their time spent in light PA (+5.9%) during recess. No pooled effects on moderate to vigorous PA were found. In-depth analyses of intervention components showed that physical schoolyard interventions particularly predicted a decrease in time spent in sedentary behavior during recess at follow-up. Intervention intensity and the school's commitment to the project strengthened this effect. Conclusions: The multicomponent schoolyard PA intervention was effective in making children spend a larger proportion of recess time in light PA, which was most likely the result of a shift from sedentary behavior to light PA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)866-875
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Activity & Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • accelerometry
  • GPS
  • youth
  • moderation
  • built environment

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