Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health benefits from free play confirmed by research

Date:
March 3, 2014
Source:
RMIT University
Summary:
Cheap items like crates and buckets encourage children to be more active and creative than expensive play equipment, researchers have found. The findings are the result of a long-term study into the play differences of primary school children with access to different playgrounds. Introducing simple, everyday objects during recess and lunchtime can cut sedentary behavior by half, improve creativity and boost social and problem-solving skills, the research shows.

Little chef checking the food. A new study found that students who played with everyday household objects took 13 more steps per minute and played more intensively and vigorously compared to those using the traditional playground.
Credit: Arpad Nagy-Bagoly / Fotolia

Cheap items like crates and buckets encourage children to be more active and creative than expensive play equipment, researchers have found. The findings are the result of a long-term study by RMIT University researchers in Melbourne, Australia, into the play differences of primary school children with access to different playgrounds.

Related Articles


Introducing simple, everyday objects during recess and lunchtime can cut sedentary behavior by half, improve creativity and boost social and problem solving skills, the research shows.

Recent study results have been published in the international journal BMC Public Health.

The two-year research project, led by Dr Brendon Hyndman from the School of Medical Sciences, found traditional school playgrounds may be stifling imaginative and energetic play.

"Conventional playgrounds are designed by adults -- they don't actually take into consideration how the children want to play," Dr Hyndman said "At a time when childhood obesity is growing and playgrounds are shrinking, we need a creative approach to stimulate physical activity among schoolchildren."

The RMIT study involved 120 students, aged between five and 12, from the newly-built Emmaus Catholic Primary School in Ballarat, a regional town in the Australian state of Victoria.

Their results were compared with another school in the area which had traditional play equipment such as monkey bars and slides. Buckets, pipes, exercise mats, hay bales and swimming pool noodles were placed in the play areas at Emmaus and researchers recorded the students' behavior.

Sedentary behavior, defined as sitting or standing around the playground, fell from 61.5 per cent of children to 30.5 per cent during the study. Students who played with everyday household objects took 13 more steps per minute and played more intensively and vigorously compared to those using the traditional playground.

"These results could be applied to anywhere that children play and shift the debate on the best way to keep our children healthy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RMIT University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brendon P Hyndman, Amanda C Benson, Shahid Ullah, Amanda Telford. Evaluating the effects of the Lunchtime Enjoyment Activity and Play (LEAP) school playground intervention on children’s quality of life, enjoyment and participation in physical activity. BMC Public Health, 2014; 14 (1): 164 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-164

Cite This Page:

RMIT University. "Health benefits from free play confirmed by research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083547.htm>.
RMIT University. (2014, March 3). Health benefits from free play confirmed by research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083547.htm
RMIT University. "Health benefits from free play confirmed by research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083547.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins