Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education


The purpose of this study was to compare and differentiate between the extent of physical fitness of 193 elementary school children in Crookston, Minnesota as achieved by two different types of playground equipment. The experimental equipment consisted of an obstacle course while the control group used conventional equipment.

The statistical procedure used in this study included the matched sample and random sample t test. In using these two procedures, the matched sample t test was computed using a program of related t scores in matrix form for 30 variables with means and standard deviations. The random sample t test was also computed on an electronic computer using a program of non related t matrix with associated statistics. The significance was reported only at the .05 level of confidence. Eight test items were used in the two year study which included the short potato race, pull-ups, rope skipping, sit-ups, 600-yard run-walk, double arm support, bass stick balance, and 50-yard dash.

Results indicated that in seven out of the ten groups compared the experimental groups improved significantly in more items than the control groups. Both the experimental and control groups improved significantly in most items, but the experimental groups means improved to a greater degree on many more of the test items.

It appears that the obstacle playground equipment does produce a higher fitness level than the conventional equipment. It is important to remember in selecting playground equipment that the educational values are met.