Physical activity levels during unstructured recess in Spanish primary and secondary schools.


  • Jose Manuel Frago-Calvo EFYPAF Research Group
  • Berta Murillo Pardo Faculty of Education. University of Zaragoza.
  • Luis García-Gonzalez Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences. University of Zaragoza.
  • Alberto Aibar Solana Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. University of Zaragoza.
  • Javier Zaragoza Casterad Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. University of Zaragoza.


Introduction. The goals of this study were: a) to describe sedentary time and different physical activity (PA) intensities during school recess; b) to analyze sex and education level differences; c) to describe compliance with recommended guidelines for recess and; d) to determine the contribution of unstructured recess to PA guidelines. Material and Methods. Two subsamples from Spain participated: one of primary school students (114 girls, 8.77±1.74 years and 59 boys, 8.47±1.71 years), and one of secondary school students (100 girls, 12.16±0.49 years and 116 boys, 12.15±0.52 years). PA was quantified by accelerometers. Results and Discussion. Significant sex and education level effect was found over the combination of different percentages of PA intensities. All PA intensities except sedentary and light, showed higher values in primary education students. Boys reported higher values in MVPA both in primary and secondary. It was found a significant effect of sex and education level on the contribution of recess to PA guidelines. Conclusions. Interventions should be carried out to encourage PA during recess, especially for girls and secondary school students.


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