Young school children's recess physical activity: Movement patterns and preferences

Amelia Mays Woods, Kim C Graber, David Newman Daum, Chris Gentry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined physical activity (PA) variables related to recess PA patterns of kindergarten, first and second grade children, and the social preferences and individuals influencing their PA. Data collected (N = 147) used the System of Observing Children's Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP) instrument. Children were interviewed. Kindergarten boys spent a significantly higher percentage of time in MVPA (t = 3.137, d = .96, p <.008). Kindergarten girls spent significantly more time standing (t = 3.548, d = 1.07, p <.008). Second grade boys spent a significantly (t = 4.44, d = 1.98, p <.0125) more time in sport activities. Second grade girls spent significantly more time in sedentary (t = 4.399, d = 1.11, p <.0125) and locomotor (t = 3.533, d = .899, p <.0125) activities. Participants articulated the prominence of friends, engaging in games/activities, and playing on the playground equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-516
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


  • Elementary
  • Gender differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Education


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