A waiver of consent was approved by the institutional review board at Concordia University Wisconsin (ID: 932380-3; 926512-1; 594622-5) in line with category 1 (standard educational procedures) and category 2 (observations of public behavior) exempted research categories and US Code of Federal Regulations 46.117.
Data were collected at 236 different recess sessions across 26 elementary schools.
While previous research has shown differences between boys and girls PA levels at recess , and that environmental interventions are effective for increasing PA at recess , less attention has been given to children’s play preferences that may contribute to both PA promotion, as well as social development during recess.
The activities of daily living-playground play (ADL-PP) is an existing measure that was developed for self-reported activities in children older than 7 years of age [7, 8].
The results of this content analysis were the basis for creating an observational protocol for playground play derived from use of the original ADL-PP (Table 1).
Next, inter-rater reliability of observational coding for each play domain was tested using a one-way random effects intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC).
Over the course of observations, 80 different activities were recorded including those within the original ADL-PP and those marked in the ‘other’ category.
Aside from the ADL-PP, observers recorded whether or not an intervention was present on the playground.
Reliability data were collected during the winter and spring seasons.
A multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to examine differences in play and activity patterns between genders, and between schools implementing recess interventions (e.g., structured play environment) and schools with no recess intervention.