LiNK: The Role Gender Plays in Recess Activity Levels throughout the School Day Class of 2017

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Diana Schwene
Class of 2017


The purpose of this research study was to focus on the physical activity differences during recess of grade one children. This study compared activity levels of grade one males and females during each of four unstructured recess times, scheduled at fifteen minutes each, and determined the activity patterns of children during each of these recess time periods. The results showed no significant differences for either category of data measured. The data categories included total recess step counts by day and total step counts for gender for each recess. The lack of significant difference supports the effectiveness of unstructured play over structured play in the recess setting. Unstructured play is a key aspect of the LiiNK project and the data shows that without balls to enable sporting behaviors and high adult intervention in play, both genders exhibit similar numbers of steps. It will be important to look at the differences between the intervention school results that were found in this study versus the recordings taken in a control school to further explore the impact of the LiiNK project as a whole.  

Comments from Mentors

"Diana came to hear more about the LiiNK Project as a freshman. She loved knowing that research was being conducted on improving the whole child in public schools. She was majoring in Movement Science in order to be a physical therapist, but from a research perspective, her heart really wanted to see children be successful in schools. She knew this research would have an impact on her and the direction she would take once graduating. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Diana on the question she chose to answer with the LiiNK Project. She was excited from the first day she walked in to know more about how we impact children in schools and graduated with the same excitement about what she had accomplished with her research question. I was proud to have her as an undergraduate student working on such an important question about the impact of physical activity on children. Diana will do great things with her passion for asking questions and looking for best practices."

--Dr. Debbie Rhea


Article Details

Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences