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Postprint of: Hyndman, B & Lester, L 2015, 'The effect of an emerging school playground strategy to encourage children's physical activity: the Accelerometer Intensities from Movable Playground and Lunchtime Activities in Youth (AIM-PLAY) study', Children, Youth and Environments, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 109-128.

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An emerging strategy to enhance children's opportunities for unstructured physical activity opportunities is to implement diverse materials on school playgrounds. The Accelerometer Intensities from Movable Playground and Lunchtime Activities in Youth (AIM-PLAY) study consisted of a movable/recycled materials intervention that included baseline, seven-week post-test and eight-month follow-up data collection phases. Children at an intervention school (n=54) and a matched control school (n=79) aged 5 to 12 years participated in the AIM-PLAY study. The study used accelerometers to measure the proportion of lunch breaks that children spent in each physical activity intensity, counts per minute and sedentary behavior. A multilevel mixed-effect linear regression model revealed that children at the intervention school spent a significantly greater proportion of their lunch breaks in moderate and moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and lower proportion in sedentary behavior at post-test and follow-up than children at the control school. The AIM-PLAY study findings suggest that the presence of movable/recycled materials can have a significant, positive, long-term effect on children's engagement in higher-intensity physical activity during school lunch breaks.

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