Engagement in physical activity during recess: Gender and grade level differences in the elementary grades

Sarah Wollersheim Shervey, James C. DiPerna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: There are many purported benefts to recess including engaging in physical activity, forming positive peer relationships, and taking a break from the classroom. Current research, however, is inconclusive regarding the presence of gender and developmental differences in physical activity that takes place during recess. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in the amount of physical activity that occurs during recess across gender and grade level. Methods: Students from frst-and sixth-grade classrooms participated in the study, and physical activity was measured using accelerometers to record the number of steps taken during recess. Results: A 2 × 2 factorial ANOVA indicated sixth grade males engaged in more physical activity than sixth grade females, frst grade males, and frst grade females. Conclusions: Because they are not engaging in as much physical activity as their sixth grade male counterparts, ways to help female and younger students take more steps during recess should be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-683
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this