Organizing ¿Play Streets¿ during school vacations can increase physical activity and decrease sedentary time in children

A Play Street is a street that is reserved for children?s safe play for a specific period during school vacations. It was hypothesized that a Play Street near children?s home can increase their moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and decrease their sedentary time. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Play Streets on children?s MVPA and sedentary time.A nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest design was used to determine the effects of Play Streets on children?s MVPA and sedentary time. Data were collected in Ghent during July and August 2013. The study sample consisted of 126 children (54 from Play streets, 72 from control streets). Children wore an accelerometer for 8 consecutive days and their parents fill out a questionnaire before and after the measurement period. During the intervention, streets were enclosed and reserved for children?s play. Four-level (neighborhood ? household ? child ? time of measurement (no intervention or during intervention)) linear regression models were conducted in MLwiN to determine intervention effects.Positive intervention effects were found for sedentary time (??=?-0.76???0.39; ?2?=?3.9; p?=?0.05) and MVPA (??=?0.82???0.43; ?2?=?3.6; p?=?0.06). Between 14h00 and 19h00, MVPA from children living in Play Streets increased from 27?minutes during normal conditions to 36?minutes during the Play Street intervention, whereas control children?s MVPA decreased from 27 to 24?minutes. Sedentary time from children living in the Play Street decreased from 146?minutes during normal conditions to 138?minutes during the Play Street intervention, whereas control children?s sedentary time increased from 156?minutes to 165?minutes. The intervention effects on MVPA (??=?-0.62???0.25; ?2?=?6.3; p?=?0.01) and sedentary time (??=?0.85???0.0.33; ?2?=?6.6; p?=?0.01) remained significant when the effects were investigated during the entire day, indicating that children did not compensate for their increased MVPA and decreased sedentary time, during the rest of the day.Creating a safe play space near urban children?s home by the Play Street intervention is effective in increasing children?s MVPA and decreasing their sedentary time.