School of Population and Global Health

PLAYCE Research Group

Further information

PLAYE spelled out with cartoon kids

Research Team:


  • Prof Stewart Trost (QUT)
  • Assoc/Prof Jasper Schipperjin (University Southern Denmark)

Research Staff:

Research Students:

  • Ms Michelle Ng
  • Ms Melissa Coci
  • Mr Luke Chancellor-Maddison
  • Ms Alison Wills
  • Ms Cassandra Collyer


    two happy little girls on a bike

    The PLAY Spaces and Environments for Children’s Physical Activity & Health (PLAYCE) program of research aims to improve young children's health and development through multi-level interventions focused on the child, family, social and built environment.

    The early years are a critical period for developing healthy behaviours such as physical activity, reduced sedentary and screen time and good sleep habits.

    The first five years are also vitally important for a child's physical, cognitive and social-emotional development and learning which impacts on their future life chances.

    The PLAYCE program of research focus is on developing, evaluating and translating strategies for improving young children's early movement behaviours, health and development.  Our research targets the environment in which young children are exposed; home, neighbourhood and early childhood education and care.

     The PLAYCE Research Group is an internationally recognised multidisciplinary team with complimentary expertise in child physical activity and related health behaviours, community and early childhood education and care based interventions, supportive environments for physical activity and health, national and international physical activity policy and guideline development, physical activity measurement, health promotion policy implementation and evaluation, qualitative and quantitative health research methods, consumer and community engagement and working collaboratively with government, NGOs and private partners.

    Research Areas

    • Influence of the early childhood education and care physical, policy and social environment on young children's health behaviours and development
    • Early childhood education and care interventions to improve young children's health behaviours and development
    • Influence of the home and neighbourhood environment on early child development
    • Role of green space in promoting health and well being across the life course
    • Health and development benefits of pets for children and adults


    The PLAYCE and iPLAYCE studies are supported by funding from the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation (Healthway; #24219, #32018).  The projects are in partnership with the Telethon Kids Institute (CoLab), WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Australian Childcare Alliance (WA); UWA Childcare, Nature Play WA, G8 Education, Goodstart, Maragon Early Learning, Mercycare Early Learning, ArborCarbon, Sonas Early Learning & Care, Ngala Early Learning and Development, ACECQA, Early Childhood Australia (WA), Playgroup WA, Heart Foundation and Kidsafe WA.


    Christian, H., Rosenberg, M., Trost, S., Schipperjin, J., Matiland, C., Trapp, G., Lester, L., Boruff, B., Thornton, A., Zubrick, S., Powell, J., Wenden, E. (2018).  A snapshot of the PLAYCE project:  Findings from the Western Australian PLAY Spaces and Environments for Children's Physical Activity Study.  Supportive Childcare Environments for Physical Activity in the Early Years.  Perth, Western Australia:  The University of Western Australia, School of Population and Global Health. 

    Christian, H, Maitland, C, Enkel, S, Trapp, G, Trost, S. G, Schipperijn, J Boruff, B, Lester, L, Rosenberg, M, & Zubrick, S. R. Influence of the day care, home and neighbourhood environment on young children's physical activity and health: protocol for the PLAYCE observational study. BMJ Open 2016; 6(12):e014058

    Current scholarsips

    Applications for the NHMRC funded PLAYCE Policy Project Scholarship are now open and close on 31 October 2018.

    To find out more about the PLAYCE research program, please contact Associate Professor Hayley Christian:


    School of Population and Global Health

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    Last updated:
    Tuesday, 25 September, 2018 8:54 AM