A stepped-wedge implementation and evaluation of the healthy active peaceful playgrounds for youth (HAPPY) intervention

Dean Dudley*, Wayne Cotton, Louisa Peralta, Matthew Winslade

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    140 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: Increasing physical activity in children is a health priority. The Healthy Active Peaceful Playgrounds for Youth (HAPPY) study aimed to examine a multi-component playground intervention designed to increase the proportionof physical activity during recess and lunch of primary school students. Methods: The 2016 Australian focused HAPPY Study was a 12-month, metropolitan primary school based intervention, which was evaluated using a stepped wedge design. The intervention combined teacher development, environmental modifications, and peer support, with the outcomes of increasing physical activity, and analysing students’ sources of social support to be physically active. Results: Between baseline and follow-up, the proportion of students involved in vigorous activities during recess and lunch times increased significantly from 15 to 25% (p < 0.001). No differences were recorded in sources of social support. Conclusions: The HAPPY project demonstrated an increase in the proportion of physical activity intensity during recess and lunch times in primary schools, although further investigation is required to determine what components of thestudy had the greatest effect.Trial registration: This study was retrospectively registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials RegistryACTRN12616000575437. Date of registration: 4 May 2016.Keywords: Physical activity, Social support, Student behaviour, SOPARC
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number532
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalBMC Public Health
    Issue number532
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • physical activity
    • social support
    • student behaviour
    • SOPARC

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