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Energy expenditure on a KOMPAN school-age playground

How do children expend energy on playgrounds?

The KOMPAN Play Institute’s research shows that children burn two-thirds of their daily recommended calories during 30 minutes of free playground play.

The Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health suggests that everybody should burn 150 calories of energy per day in order to maintain a healthy body composition of bone, muscle, and fatty tissue. This energy balance is off for many children. For this reason, the KOMPAN Play Institute and the University of Southern Denmark set out to research how many calories school-aged children burn when they engage in 30 minutes of free play on KOMPAN play equipment. This study shows that 3rd-grade children burn more than 150 calories through 30 minutes playground play.

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Energy expenditure on a KOMPAN school-age playground

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How to ##improve physical activity?


  1. Playgrounds with developmentally-appropriate equipment contribute to children’s physical activity counts. The total amount of 150 calories can easily be accomplished with just 45 minutes of play per day.

  2. Playground play, in combination with sports activities during recess, PE, or before and after school activities, is an optimal environmental intervention for children’s health.

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