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Contribution of school recess to daily physical activity: systematic review and evidence appraisal

Reilly, John J and Johnston, Grant and McIntosh, Stuart and Martin, Anne (2016) Contribution of school recess to daily physical activity: systematic review and evidence appraisal. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 3 (6). pp. 581-589. ISSN 2326-4403

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Abstract

Objective: The present study aimed to estimate school recess moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA). Methods: A systematic review was carried out in MEDLINE and SportDiscus to identify observational studies where MVPA had been measured objectively during school recess. Study quality was assessed formally. Results: Twenty-four eligible studies in primary school pupils (N= 5,778 individuals), revealed a weighted mean of 12 minutes MVPA per school day. Only two eligible studies were identified in high school pupils (N= 399 individuals). The evidence was generally of moderately high quality. Conclusions: Recess makes a small contribution to daily MVPA. Substantial policy effort is likely to be needed if recess is to make a more useful contribution to MVPA among children and adolescents.