Publication Details

Bundy, A., Engelen, L., Naughton, G. & Wyver, S. (2018). Low Levels of after School-Hours Social Interaction and Physical Activity of 5-7 Year Olds. Asia-Pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education, 12 (2), 79-92.


As part of a cluster randomized controlled trial (Bundy et al., 2017), the after school-hours activities of 5-7 year old children were recorded by parents and other adult carers on four consecutive weekdays between 3:30pm-7:00pm. Records of time use showed most time was spent indoors in activities involving low levels of physical activity. The most-frequently-recorded activity was screen time, accounting for approximately one quarter of all activities. Higher levels of physical activity were reported when children were outdoors (19.5% of time) and/or with peers (9.58%). If an adult was present, highest activity levels of children occurred when the child was with a teacher/carer (6.07%). Although concern is frequently raised about children spending too much time in organized activities, these structured forms of out-of-school choices accounted for only 8.09% of recordings. The results of the current study strengthen the evidence base, supporting the need to optimise out-ofschool times with more developmentally important social and physical contexts. We discuss ways in which context may support or inhibit opportunities physical activity in after school-hours activities.



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