Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Project

Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Occupational therapy considers the person, occupation, and environment when providing treatment services. In schools, the person is the student, the occupations include education and play, and the environment is the classroom and the playground. In Muskegon, Michigan, the public school system is undergoing a consolidation of elementary schools and trying to determine what to do with the current playground environment. The researchers conducted a systematic review of the existing research regarding best practice, accessible, and inclusive playground designs for the elementary schools that will promote physical activity and enhance classroom performance. Scholarly databases and gray literature were searched using predetermined key words and inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 21 research articles were analyzed for content and summarized in a table (see Appendix B). The research findings provide recommendations to design a more inclusive and accessible playground that promotes physical activity. The results also suggest that physical activity on the playground enhances classroom performance. Further research should evaluate the effects of specific playground equipment for various students and how the playground can be utilized for occupational therapy treatment intervention.

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