The Influence of Time Spent in Outdoor Play on Daily and Aerobic Step Count in Costa Rican Children


  • Maria Morera National University, Costa Rica
  • Mary E. Rudisill Auburn University
  • Danielle D. Wadsworth Auburn University
  • Leah E. Robinson Auburn University


outdoor play, children, pedometers, health, MVPA


The aim of this study was to examine the influence of time spent in outdoor play on daily physical activity in fifth grade Costa Rican children. Children (N = 190) wore Omron HJ- 720 ITC pedometers for one week to assess their step count and aerobic steps, and completed an Outdoor Play Survey. Results revealed that children who spent 3+ hours in outdoor play per day had higher step counts than those who spent less than an hour per day, p = .018. Children were more active over the weekdays than weekend days, and girls acquired significantly fewer steps then boys (p < .05). These findings suggest outdoor intervention is needed to promote healthy benefits associated with physical activity among children in Costa Rica, particularly for girls and over the weekend.




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