Faculty Publications


Space utilization: Criteria for the selection of playground equipment for children

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Research Quarterly of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation





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Kindergarten boys (N = 12) played in three pieces of nonmoving equipment: wooden pilings, horizontal bars, and a geodesic dome. Movement was measured by use of the spatial dimensions of range, direction, and level and by bases of support as the body factor to determine which piece produced the greatest variety in each dimension and in bases of support. Photographic slides of the 12 subjects, in groups of four, were taken simultaneously by four Nikon motorized F-36 cameras at 5-sec intervals while they moved on the equipment. A flatbed coordinate digitizer plotted the movements of the body parts from raw images into an accurate two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. Computer programs transformed data into a three-dimensional system from which measurements were taken. Data was analyzed by using a three-factor repeated measure ANOVA, binomial proportions tests, Scheffes’ tests, Kendall correlation, Wilcoxin T, and chi square. Results were significant at the.05 level and above. The bars elicited the greatest amount of range of movement. The pilings stimulated the most right, left, up, and down directional moves. The dome promoted more movement at a high level. Bases of support utilized were independent of the pieces of equipment used. This study provided evidence that a framework for analyzing movement utilizing Laban’s spatial dimensions and the body factor of bases of support is appropriate. It also provided a photographic technique and computer programs to analyze movement in three dimensions. © 1976 Taylor 8 Francis Group, LLC.

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