An activity deficit hypothesis was posited that children with movement difficulties are less physically active during recess than age- and gender-matched controls without movement difficulties. Criteria used in identifying children with movement difficulties were (a) a score of at least 4 on the Test of Motor Impairment, (b) regular physical education student, and (c) age 80 to 109 months. An observational study was conducted over a 2-month period in recess settings with 52 subjects. Findings revealed that during recess time, children with movement difficulties were vigorously active less often, played less often with large playground equipment, were not observable for significantly more time, and spent less time in positive social interactions with others of their own gender. Accordingly, it was concluded that the data support the activity deficit hypothesis.
Marcel Bouffard, E. Jane Watkinson, Linda P. Thompson, and Sandy K.E. Romanow are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, E-407 Van Vliet Centre, The University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2H9. Janice L. Causgrove Dunn is with the Faculty of Physical Activity Studies, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada S4S OA2.