SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 4 - reading 8

Questions 1-11 are based on the following

This passage is excerpted from Carly Wood, Valier Gladwell and Jo Barton, “A Repeated Measures Experiment of School Playing Environment to Increase Physical Activity and Enhance Self-Esteem in UK School Children.” © 2014 by Wood et al.

The health benefits of engaging in physical activity (PA)

during childhood include enhanced fitness, cognitive function

and bone health; reduced body fatness, motor skill
development, and favourable cardiovascular and metabolic
5 disease risk profiles. Being active during childhood can also

improve self-esteem and reduce symptoms of anxiety and

depression. Participation in PA in youth is of great

importance as PA may track into adulthood where adequate

levels of PA are protective against many chronic diseases.
10 However, in the UK approximately 75% of boys and 80% of

girls aged 5–10 years are not meeting the daily

recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous

physical activity . . .
Unstructured play is also an essential part of childhood
15 which enables children to develop a relationship with their

surrounding environment and enhances social skills,

coordination and strength. Outdoor environments facilitate

play and are associated with increased levels of PA. Thus,

children should be provided with daily opportunities to play
20 outdoors. The school environment provides such an

opportunity through the provision of playtime. Playtime

normally takes place on the concrete school playground and

lasts for at least one hour per day. However, universally

playtime is reported to make relatively small contributions to
25 children's overall daily activity requirements. In the UK, only

one known study has reported the contribution of playtime to

overall activity requirements, with contributions being as low

as 4.5%.
A number of studies have successfully increased playtime
30 PA through the introduction of interventions such as sports or

games equipment, playground markings, fitness breaks and

playground structures. However, these types of interventions

tend to facilitate structured rather than unstructured PA.

Unstructured PA is essential to childhood development and
35 therefore needs to be encouraged during playtime.
Natural environments can encourage unstructured play and

may therefore play a role in facilitating unstructured PA

during playtime. Natural environments provide large open

spaces which encourage individuals to be active, whilst areas
40 lacking nature may restrict PA due to limited space and

parental fears over crime and road traffic. Children report a

preference for play in natural environments, with nature

facilitating more imaginative and inventive play.

Furthermore, adolescents living in urban settings with access
45 to green spaces such as parks are more likely to be physically

active than their peers without park access, indicating that all

forms of nature can be used as a tool for engaging youth in

PA. Thus, if school playtime were performed on the school

field it is possible that children's PA levels would be
50 increased. To date, there is a lack of data quantifying the

impact of natural environments on levels of PA in children,

particularly within the school setting.
Performing PA in a natural environment (“Green

Exercise”) has also been demonstrated to provide
55 improvements in self-esteem in adults, whether participants

are simply viewing scenes of nature or directly interacting

with natural environments. Studies in adolescents and

children suggest that Green Exercise has no such additive

effect on self-esteem compared to exercise in other
60 environments. However, the only known study in children

examined the impact of a green playtime intervention

consisting of orienteering.* The task-oriented, structured

nature of orienteering may not facilitate the green exercise

effect. Unstructured free play in a natural environment may
65 allow greater interaction with the environment, thus

benefiting self-esteem.

*A competitive sport in which runners have to find their way across rough country with the aid of a map and compass.

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Question 1 The main purpose of the passage is to