The Use of Cross-Curricular Activity on Interactive Playgrounds to Supplement School-Based Physical Activity: An Exploratory Study

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Childhood obesity and physical inactivity are serious threats to the health and wellness of our schoolchildren. Research has shown that play and physical activity are important in development, behaviour and academic achievement. Through the efforts of coordinated school health program and a Physical Education for Progress grant, a county school system in a southern state was able to construct multiple innovative playground systems at schools and combine them with various academic units in a cross-curricular effort to address the wellness needs of students. Exploratory research using pedometers, accelerometers and an observation method examined physical activity intensity levels during cross-curricular sessions. Results indicated that this type of physical activity might be a viable supplement to daily school-based physical activity needs.