Introduction and aim

Access to outdoor areas and playgrounds is important for children´s health and development. Studies have shown that playgrounds can stimulate children’s social and physical activities.

This study will investigate the effect of playground building and/or renewal on playground use, physical activity level, and social relations among children and families as the primary target group.

The study is designed as a natural experiment with pre- and post-measurements before and after the renewal of local public playgrounds. Systematic observations and surveys will be used for the effect evaluation. Furthermore, we will conduct a process evaluation to understand how and why the intervention (playground renewal) works.


We expect to gain knowledge on how playground renewal can contribute to children’s physical activity levels, play, and social health. We aim for an evaluation model that is applicable in other settings and contexts.


We expect to find that renewal of local public playgrounds will increase visits to the playground, physical play, and physical activity levels at the playground, total daily physical activity, as well as social relations. Furthermore, we will gain insight into important factors in the playground renewal process, e.g., why playground renewal in one local neighbourhood will increase physical activity but not in another neighbourhood.


This study is funded by KOMPAN and specifically includes public KOMPAN playgrounds.

Research Team

Research Team

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