Cost-Effectiveness of Ready for Recess to Promote Physical Activity in Children

Hongmei Wang, Tao Li, Mohammad Siahpush, Li Wu Chen, Jennifer Huberty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Many school-based recess interventions have been shown to be effective in increasing physical activity but their relative efficiency compared to other school-based programs are unknown. This study examined the cost-effectiveness of Ready for Recess, a program designed to increase students' physical activity in 2 elementary schools. METHODS: Standard cost-effectiveness analysis method was used from a program's perspective for this study. Program effectiveness was measured as total metabolic equivalent (MET) hours gained. Program costs included equipment, training, and personnel costs during the 1-year intervention. The cost-effectiveness was measured as the ratio of program costs to total MET-hours gained. RESULTS: Ready for Recess cost $27,643.97 for the 2 schools in the first year of implementation. Physical activity increased by 1.8 MET-hours per day per student. Approximately 32 cents were spent on Ready for Recess to produce an additional MET-hour per student per school day in the 2008-2009 school year. CONCLUSIONS: Ready for Recess was cost-effective in its first year of implementation using 35 cents as a benchmark and it was cost-effective relative to other school-based physical activity interventions. The program may be more cost-effective if implemented for a longer time and on a larger scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-285
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • cost-effectiveness
  • metabolic equivalent hours
  • physical activity
  • physical activity intervention
  • school-based physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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