Hong Kong Med J 2013;19(Suppl 4):S42-4
Physical activity for children in special school environment
CHP Sit, TL McKenzie, E Cerin, A McManus, J Lian
Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong
1. We assessed children’s physical activity (PA) in structured (physical education) and unstructured (recess, lunch, before and after school) periods in special schools and examined its association with modifiable area contextual characteristics.
2. Children with disabilities were not highly active, but were more active during recess and lunch periods than at other times including physical education classes.
3. Areas were often not accessible during unstructured settings. Children were more active in areas when supervision and organised activities were provided.
4. Providing an interactive game during free play did not significantly increase group’s PA.
5. Children’s PA accrual is influenced by contextual characteristics of the school environment. There is a need to make areas more accessible and to use social marketing and programming to attract more users. School and health professionals should modify contextual characteristics by providing more direct supervision and organised activities during free play.