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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Trial ID
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Type of registration
Retrospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Popping the bubble wrap- unleashing the power of play: an innovative playground intervention to increase children's physical activity
Study title in 'Participant- Intervention- Comparator- Outcome (PICO)' format
Cluster randomised controlled trial of an innovative intervention to increase children's physical activity
Secondary ID 253475 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Inactivity 4550 0
Obesity 261023 0
Social skills and self-esteem 261024 0
Condition category
Condition code
Public Health 4841 4841 0 0
Health promotion/education
Mental Health 259162 259162 0 0
Other mental health disorders
Diet and nutrition 259165 259165 0 0

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
- Reprioritising play and reframing risk: one 2 hour workshop with teachers and parents. The adults will examine their beliefs regarding play and risk associated with active play. Discussions will focus on the benefits of play, healthy vs unhealthy risk and the consequences of preventing children from engaging in play and healthy risk taking.
- Introduction of unstructured play materials: The play material (e.g. car tyres, milk crates, crash mats etc.) will be present on the school playgrounds during the 13 week intervention and can be used by all the children at the school.
Intervention code 4315 0
Intervention code 4316 0
Comparator / control treatment
Regular school recess where the children are free to engage in activity as they normally would.
Control group

Primary outcome 5700 0
Significantly higher levels of physical activity during recess and after school (measured by accelerometers and time use diaries)
Timepoint 5700 0
Difference pre- and post-test
Primary outcome 5701 0
Significant gains in social skills (Social Skills Inventory System, Gresham and Elliott) and self-esteem (The Pictorial scale of perceived competence and social acceptance for young children, Harter and Pike)
Timepoint 5701 0
Difference pre- and post-test
Secondary outcome 268957 0
Changes in social interaction as assessed by coding social interactions following a modified Pellegrini method from 15 minute video tapes. The video's will be taped during the outdoor recess.
Timepoint 268957 0
Difference pre- and post-test

Key inclusion criteria
Children in kindergarten or year 1 where the parents have given consent. The children to be approached to participate from each school are randomly chosen.
Minimum age
5 Years
Maximum age
7 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Parents refuse to sign consent. No other exclusion criteria

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Masking / blinding
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Other design features
Type of endpoint(s)

Anticipated date of first participant enrolment
Actual date of first participant enrolment
Anticipated date last participant enrolled
Actual date last participant enrolled
Target sample size
Actual sample size
Recruitment status
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category 258387 0
Government body
Name 258387 0
Address 258387 0
Level 2, 11 Lancaster Place
Majura Park ACT 2609
Country 258387 0
Funding source category 258388 0
Government body
Name 258388 0
Address 258388 0
Level 1
16 Marcus Clarke Street
Canberra ACT 2601
Country 258388 0
Primary sponsor
Primary sponsor name
University of Sydney
Primary sponsor address
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006
Primary sponsor country
Secondary sponsor category 257530 0
Name 257530 0
Prof Anita Bundy
Address 257530 0
Room J010
East Street
Lidcombe NSW 214
Country 257530 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name 260364 0
University of Sydney's Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address 260364 0
Ethics committee country 260364 0
Date submitted for ethics approval 260364 0
Approval date 260364 0
Ethics approval number 260364 0

Brief summary
Disturbing numbers of children in Australia are overweight, bullied or have poor mental health – problems that are often inter-related. Recent decreases in outdoor play may be partly responsible. Outdoor play “pulls for” social interaction and physical activity; indoor play is often sedentary and solitary. Most young children love active outdoor play but parents and teachers fear injury.

This project is a school-based intervention to increase outdoor play by: (1) adding 'loose part' materials to the playground and (2) helping adults change their views of risk associated with active play. We expect to demonstrate a significant effect on children’s activity levels, coping and social skills through strategies that are replicable in every school playground in the nation and to contribute to policy regarding play, health, and education.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 29456 0
Address 29456 0
Country 29456 0
Phone 29456 0
Fax 29456 0
Email 29456 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 12703 0
Prof Anita Bundy
Address 12703 0
Room J010
East Street
Lidcombe NSW 2141
Country 12703 0
Phone 12703 0
+61 2 9351 9857
Fax 12703 0
Email 12703 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 3631 0
Anita Bundy
Address 3631 0
Room J010
East Street
Lidcombe NSW 2141
Country 3631 0
Phone 3631 0
+61 2 9351 9857
Fax 3631 0
Email 3631 0