Environments both stimulate and provide the arena for physical activity, although there is limited research to show if changing the physical environment at school influences activity levels in children.

Camden Borough Council has re-designed seven existing school playgrounds with exciting bespoke features to engage children to become more active.

The primary aim of this project was to evaluate the impact of these playground structures on physical activity levels. A random selection of pupils was taken from six of the seven schools together with children from two control schools that retained their normal playground.

Seven-day objective physical activity data was collected using an accelerometer (Actigraph) before and after the intervention. This work is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Camden Borough Council and Camden Clinical Commissioning Group.


  • June-Sept 2014: Baseline data successfully completed (n=450) in all experimental schools plus two control schools.
  • Dec 2014: All building work completed and new playgrounds in use.
  • May-Nov 2015: Final follow up data collected.
  • Dec-April 2016: Data cleaning and analysis.

Find out more about this study.