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Bates, B. et al. (2015) Measures of outdoor play and independent mobility in children and youth: A methodological review (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Objectives
Declines in children's outdoor play have been documented globally, which are partly due to heightened restrictions around children's independent mobility. Literature on outdoor play and children's independent mobility is increasing, yet no paper has summarized the various methodological approaches used. A methodological review could highlight most commonly used measures and comprehensive research designs that could result in more standardized methodological approaches.
Design
Methodological review.
Methods
A standardized protocol guided a methodological review of published research on measures of outdoor play and children's independent mobility in children and youth (0–18 years). Online searches of 8 electronic databases were conducted and studies included if they contained a subjective/objective measure of outdoor play or children's independent mobility. References of included articles were scanned to identify additional articles.
Results
Twenty-four studies were included on outdoor play, and twenty-three on children's independent mobility. Study designs were diverse. Common objective measures included accelerometry, global positioning systems and direct observation; questionnaires, surveys and interviews were common subjective measures. Focus groups, activity logs, monitoring sheets, travel/activity diaries, behavioral maps and guided tours were also utilized. Questionnaires were used most frequently, yet few studies used the same questionnaire. Five studies employed comprehensive, mixed-methods designs.
Conclusions
Outdoor play and children's independent mobility have been measured using a wide variety of techniques, with only a few studies using similar methodologies. A standardized methodological approach does not exist. Future researchers should consider including both objective measures (accelerometry and global positioning systems) and subjective measures (questionnaires, activity logs, interviews), as more comprehensive designs will enhance understanding of each multidimensional construct. Creating a standardized methodological approach would improve study comparisons.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Volume:
18
Page/s:
545-552
Synonyms:
  • Literature review
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Feda, D. et al. (2012) Effect of increasing the choice of active options on children's physically active play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

bjectives: To determine whether increasing the choice of physical activity options increases the duration and intensity of children's physically active play. Design: This cross-sectional laboratory study included gender (male and female) and choice group [single toy (no choice), three toys (low choice), five toys (high choice)] as between participant factors. Methods: Boys and girls (. n=. 36, 8-12. y) were stratified, randomly assigned to a choice group that always provided access to each participant's most liked active toy(s), and allowed 60. min of free time. The same sedentary alternatives were freely available to all participants. Physical activity outcomes were measured by accelerometry, heart rate, and direct observation. Results: The number of active toys the children played with increased (. p<. 0.001) across each choice group. Minutes spent in MPA were greater in the low choice (. p<. 0.05) and high choice (. p<. 0.02) groups than the no choice group. Active playtime was greater (. p<. 0.01) in the low choice (79%) and high choice (95%) groups compared to the no choice group. Girls in the low and high choice groups had greater (. p<. 0.05) percent heart rate reserve when compared to girls in the no choice group. There was no difference in the boys' percent heart rate reserve between the no choice, low choice and high choice groups. Conclusions: Increasing the choice of active toys increases both the duration and intensity of physically active play, especially in girls. © 2011 Sports Medicine Australia.

Date:
January 2012
Volume:
15
Page/s:
334-340
Synonyms:
  • Experimental
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: