Children's active free play in local neighborhoods : a behavioral mapping study

Veitch, J., Salmon, J. and Ball, K. 2008, Children's active free play in local neighborhoods : a behavioral mapping study, Health education research : theory and practice, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 870-879, doi: 10.1093/her/cym074.

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Title Children's active free play in local neighborhoods : a behavioral mapping study
Author(s) Veitch, J.ORCID iD for Veitch, J.
Salmon, J.ORCID iD for Salmon, J.
Ball, K.ORCID iD for Ball, K.
Journal name Health education research : theory and practice
Volume number 23
Issue number 5
Start page 870
End page 879
Total pages 10
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Cary, N.C.
Publication date 2008-10
ISSN 0268-1153
Summary Many Australian children are more sedentary than they should be, and almost one in five are currently overweight or obese. Some children may face difficulties finding opportunities to be active, having poor access to safe public open spaces or having low independent mobility limiting their access to places to play. This study aimed to examine children's access to places in their neighborhood for active free play and how these vary by age, sex and socioeconomic status (SES). Behavioral maps of the local neighborhood were completed by children (8-12 years) from five primary schools across different areas of Melbourne. Children living in low SES outer-urban neighborhoods had to travel greater distances to access local parks compared with those in inner-urban mid and high SES areas. One-third (32%) of children reported an independent mobility range of <100 m from home. In conclusion, for some children opportunities to engage in active free play in the local neighborhood may be limited due to lack of parks in close proximity to home and restricted independent mobility. It is important to collaborate with local governments, urban planners and community groups to improve access to neighborhood parks and to promote a sense of neighborhood safety.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/her/cym074
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
Socio Economic Objective 920205 Health Education and Promotion
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Oxford University Press
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