Can school playgrounds have an impact on children’s well-being?

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playground signage beside green leaf tree

That’s the key question our research team from the World Playground Research Institute has set out to explore. Over the course of three days, our team is stationed at a school playground in Fredericia, Denmark to observe children aged 6-12-years.

This initial visit marks the first step in our School Playgrounds for Well-being project, led by Associate Professor Charlotte Skau Pawlowski. In just three days, we aim to gather data through systematic observations and two surveys. Our attention is on social interactions, well-being, and the enjoyment of activities and play during recess in the school playground.

“School Playgrounds for Well-being” is an intervention project that involves the installation and development of a new KOMPAN school playground. As part of the ongoing development of this playground, we’re keen on including children’s voices and perspectives.

Learn more about the project “School Playgrounds for Well-being”

Research suggests that school playgrounds can significantly influence the social and mental well-being of children. However, there remains a gap in understanding the precise impact on children’s well-being, which calls for comprehensive and evidence-based research.

In our “School Playgrounds for Well-being” project, we aim to investigate whether renovating or building new, age-appropriate schoolyard playgrounds, designed according to children’s preferences, can enhance the social and mental health of 6-12-year-olds. This study is an intervention conducted in two schools, one in the UK and one in Denmark.

Want to know more about school playgrounds?

If you’re interested in learning more, explore our database of articles to gain insights into the impact of school playgrounds. Our database contains numerous research articles that illuminate topics such as school playground design and their impact on physical activity, health, and well-being.

More on school playgrounds

Charlotte Skau Pawlowski has also provided short summaries of previous studies on school playgrounds in two briefs – also available on our website:

Images from the data collection

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Please feel free to contact the listed team members below. Select the team member to view their full profile, social media and contact details.