Children’s school lunchtime enjoyment: an exploration of intra- and inter-day agreement

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Hyndman, B, Telford, A, Benson, A, Ullah, S & Finch, C 2011, 'Children’s school lunchtime enjoyment: an exploration of intra- and inter-day agreement', International Society of Behavioral Nurtition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) 2011 Annual Meeting, Melbourne, Vic.,15-18 June.

Abstract available on Open Access



Enjoyment and play during school lunchtime are strongly correlated with children’s overall physical activity. Despite this, there is an absence of data reporting children’s enjoyment of play during school lunchtimes. The purpose of this study was to examine the intra-day and inter-day agreement of children’s school lunchtime enjoyment.


Lunchtime enjoyment surveys were distributed to and completed by 197 children (112 males, 85 females), aged 8-12 years attending a regional government primary school in Australia. Children completed the surveys during class time before lunch (expected enjoyment) and after lunch (actual enjoyment) for five days. The intra-day (expected vs. actual lunchtime enjoyment) and inter-day school lunchtime enjoyment agreement (expected/actual lunchtime enjoyment between days) was determined using a weighted kappa.


Intra-day kappa values ranged from fair (0.31) to substantial (0.75) within each of the five days (median kappa=0.45). ‘Expected’ inter-day lunchtime enjoyment between each of the five days failed to reach moderate kappa agreement, ranging from 0.09 to 0.40 (median kappa=0.30). Similarly low ‘actual’ interday lunchtime enjoyment agreement was identified, ranging from 0.05-0.46 (median kappa=0.28).


Children’s enjoyment of lunchtime appears to be more consistent within days than across days perhaps due to the varying influences children experience from day to day (e.g. weather). The findings suggest that measuring children’s enjoyment of lunchtime once on a single day would be representative of that particular day but not necessarily that school week. It is therefore recommended future physical activity interventions targeting school lunch periods consider assessing enjoyment across multiple days.