Low Levels of after School-Hours Social Interaction and Physical Activity of 5-7 Year Olds

Anita Bundy,Lina Engelen,Geraldine Naughton,Shirley Wyver
page. 79~92 / 2018 Vol.12 No.2


As part of a cluster randomized controlled trial (Bundy et al., 2017), the after school-hours activitiesof 5-7 year old children were recorded by parents and other adult carers on four consecutiveweekdays between 3:30pm-7:00pm. Records of time use showed most time was spent indoors inactivities involving low levels of physical activity. The most-frequently-recorded activity was screentime, accounting for approximately one quarter of all activities. Higher levels of physical activitywere reported when children were outdoors (19.5% of time) and/or with peers (9.58%). If an adultwas 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 organizedactivities, 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-ofschooltimes with more developmentally important social and physical contexts. We discuss ways inwhich context may support or inhibit opportunities physical activity in after school-hours activities.

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