Psychosocial barriers to playground activity levels



Publication Details

Parrish, A., Iverson, D., Russell, K. & Yeatman, H. (2012). Psychosocial barriers to playground activity levels. British Journal of School Nursing, 7 (3), 131-137.


Objective: This research investigates whether psychosocial and physical variables affect children's school playground physical activity levels. Methods: Self-report questionnaires, designed using social cognitive theory, surveyed nine principals, 84 teachers and 468 children from 13 regional Australian primary schools to determine which barriers affect children's school break time playground physical activity. Results: Students believed their activity was affected by: the weather (77%), lack of time (44%), bullying (21 %) and school uniforms (21 %); significant variables were: fear of bullying, fear of getting hurt, being shy, and a dislike of being active. Teachers believed children's activity was affected by a lack of: playground markings (43%), games courts (42%), staff (39%) and the potential for injury (39%); significant variables were: lack of games courts and lack of fixed and non-fixed equipment. Conclusions: The findings suggest that future research should include psychosocial and physical barriers when investigating or intervening in children's school playground physical activity.

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