Associations Between School Recreational Environments and Physical Activity
School environments may promote or hinder physical activity in young people. The purpose of this research was to examine relationships between school recreational environments and adolescent physical activity. Methods:
Using multilevel logistic regression, data from 7638 grade 6 to 10 students from 154 schools who participated in the 2005/06 Canadian Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey were analyzed. Individual and cumulative effects of school policies, varsity and intramural athletics, presence and condition of fields, and condition of gymnasiums on students’ self-reported physical activity (≥2 h/wk vs <2 h/wk) were examined. Results:
Moderate gradients in physical activity were observed according to number of recreational features and opportunities. Overall, students at schools with more recreational features and opportunities reported higher rates of class-time and free-time physical activity; this was strongest among high school students. Boys’ rates of class-time physical activity were 1.53 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.12-1.80) times as high at high schools with the most recreational features as at schools with the fewest. Similarly, girls’ rates of free-time physical activity at school were 1.62 (95% CI: 0.96-2.21) times as high at high schools with the most opportunities and facilities as compared to schools with the fewest. Modest associations were observed between individual school characteristics and class-time and free-time physical activity. Conclusions:
Taken together, the cumulative effect of school recreational features may be more important than any one characteristic individually.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Full Professor, ( ), Departments of Community Health and Epidemiology and Emergency Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L2N6., Email: [email protected] 2: Assistant Professor, ( ), School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, and Department of Community and Health Epidemiology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6., Email: [email protected]
Publication date: June 1, 2009