School recess is a crucial outdoor recreation period to develop health behaviours such as physical activity, social and thinking skills that can track into adulthood. As students in some schools can be immersed in playground recreation opportunities via up to 4200 school breaks during their schooling (three times per day, 5 days per week, 39 weeks per year, 7 years of primary school), the school playground has become an emerging focus for researchers to facilitate important health outcomes. Outdoor recreation activities during school recess can contribute up to half of a child’s recommended physical activity participation. Ensuring there is an enhanced understanding and awareness of what can enhance or hinder outdoor recreation activities within school contexts is therefore important to develop both physical and psychological strategies to help promote sustainable health outcomes. Despite outdoor recreation during school recess periods being a vital setting to develop physical, social and cognitive habits, the possibilities during this period have only started to gain momentum in the first two decades of the twenty-first century. This chapter will outline the important link between school playgrounds for outdoor recreation during school recess and the various physiological and psychological effects that have been revealed from various strategies that have been implemented for children with typical and atypical development.
Part of the book: Outdoor Recreation