Lunchtime enjoyment activity play (LEAP) intervention

Chief Investigator

Hyndman, Brendon

School or Research Centre

School of Education

Lead Partner Organisation

Southern Cross University


Brendon Hyndman, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia.



physical activity, primary school, intervention, lunchtime, children, enjoyment, quality of life, recess, school playgrounds.


This matched controlled trial, the LEAP intervention study, was uniquely tailored to compare the intervention and control schools at baseline (March/April, 2010), post-testing (after 7-weeks; April-June, 2010) and at a follow-up (after 8-months; November, 2010). The intervention provided movable/recycled materials for children to use in the school playground with usual playground supervision by teachers (yard duty). Children in the control school continued their PA with their usual sports equipment, fixed playground equipment and teacher supervision.

Children within an intervention school (n = 123) and a matched control school (n = 152) aged 5-to-12-years-old were recruited for the study. Children’s PA was measured using a combination of pedometers and direct observation (SOPLAY). Quality of life, enjoyment of PA and enjoyment of lunchtime activities were assessed in the 8-12 year children.

Data Collection Start Date


Data Collection End Date



All children within each primary school (aged 5-12-years-old) received a plain language statement outlining the research, along with a participant and parental consent form. A total of 123 children from the intervention school (mean 7.0 years ±1.9; 90% response rate) and 152 children from the control school (mean 8.2 years ±2.1; 86% response rate) returned signed informed parental consent forms to participate in the study.

Descriptive accounts of the LEAP intervention during the course of collecting or reflecting on the data were recorded via field notes. The field notes were used to complement the objective and self-report instruments by recording what could be seen, heard, experienced and thought of during children’s engagement with the movable/recycled materials. The investigators minimised any influence on the setting by positioning in unobtrusive positions along the boundary of the school playgrounds and randomly recording children’s PA behaviour.

Children’s steps and distance were assessed using a Yamax Digiwalker SW200 pedometer (the monitor was taped closed to prevent tampering during the lunchtime breaks).

Area-level PA intensities, PA types and the context for play were measured using the System of Observing Play and Leisure Activities in Youth (SOPLAY).

The Physical Activity Children’s Enjoyment Scale (PACES) was used to determine children’s general enjoyment of physical activity.

The Lunchtime Enjoyment of Activity and Play (LEAP) Questionnaire was used to measure children’s enjoyment of school play activities. The LEAP questionnaire consists of 39 items, categorised by social-ecological model levels (intra-personal, inter-personal, physical environment/policy) to identify the broader influences on children’s enjoyment of school play and lunchtime activities. All enjoyment items were rated on a five-point likert scale (1 = very unhappy; 2 = unhappy; 3 = not sure; 4 = happy; 5 = very happy). A score is computed by calculating the average of each social-ecological model component.

The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 (PedsQL), a 23-item validated questionnaire was used to measure the QOL in children aged 8-12-years-old. The PedsQL instrument measures QOL in three scales; psychosocial, physical and total QOL. The questionnaire is scored using a five-point likert scale (0 = never; 1 = almost never; 2 = sometimes; 3 = almost always; 4 = always), with items then converted to a score out of 100 (0 = 100; 1 = 75; 2 = 50; 3 = 25; 4 = 0). A mean score is calculated for the psychosocial and physical QOL scales. The scales are averaged to obtain a total QOL score.


Data collected over an eight month period, covering regional western Victoria area.


For permission to access this dataset please contact: Brendon Hyndman School of Education, Southern Cross University. brendon.hyndman@scu.edu.au

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