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Overcrowded playgrounds, limits on equipment, split stage lunch breaks, student collisions, and arguments over the handball courts – sound familiar? Unfortunately, this is a common scene in many primary schools across NSW due to the limited playground space available.
Health Promotion’s School Play Space project aims to ensure students have access to sufficient open play space at school to support them to be physically active, remain healthy and well.
How Much School Play Space is Enough?
More than one in five NSW children are above a healthy weight. In addition, only 15.6% are achieving adequate physical activity; this lowers to 10% of children aged 5-15 years in Northern Sydney. NSLHD Health Promotion has conducted research to examine the relationship between school open play space and physical activity of primary school students. Our research found that increased open play space up to 25m2 per student supports better physical activity outcomes of students.
See the research summary in guides section below, or read the research article:
Ecological study of playground space and physical activity among primary school children
What support is available?
Health Promotion is available to support your school community to create a health promoting school environment to support your students’ health and wellbeing.
There is no one approach, we work very closely with school executives and Parent & Citizens/Friends committees to support schools. Northern Sydney schools can access the following support:
- Assistance to conduct a Play Space Audit: Assess the amount of play space per student at your school and identify ways to best utilise available space
- Support for the development of an Active Play Plan: Make the most of your existing play space to support student physical activity
- Advocacy for improved play space at your school: Ensure school infrastructure developments meet play space guidelines
- Advocacy for improved amenities at local shared spaces your school regularly accesses.