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Social and physical environmental factors influencing adolescents' physical activity in urban public open spaces: a qualitative study using walk-along interviews

Van Hecke, Linde, Deforche, Benedicte, Van Dyck, Delfien, De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse, Veitch, Jenny and Van Cauwenberg, Jelle 2016, Social and physical environmental factors influencing adolescents' physical activity in urban public open spaces: a qualitative study using walk-along interviews, PLoS One, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 1-24, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155686.

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Title Social and physical environmental factors influencing adolescents' physical activity in urban public open spaces: a qualitative study using walk-along interviews
Author(s) Van Hecke, Linde
Deforche, Benedicte
Van Dyck, Delfien
De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse
Veitch, JennyORCID iD for Veitch, Jenny orcid.org/0000-0001-8962-0887
Van Cauwenberg, Jelle
Journal name PLoS One
Volume number 11
Issue number 5
Start page 1
End page 24
Total pages 24
Publisher PLoS
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2016-05-23
ISSN 1932-6203
Keyword(s) adolescents
physical activity
sports
social stratification
children
transportation
walking
human families
Summary Most previous studies examining physical activity in Public Open Spaces (POS) focused solely on the physical environment. However, according to socio-ecological models the social environment is important as well. The aim of this study was to determine which social and physical environmental factors affect adolescents' visitation and physical activity in POS in low-income neighbourhoods. Since current knowledge on this topic is limited, especially in Europe, qualitative walk-along interviews were used to obtain detailed and context-specific information. Participants (n = 30, aged 12-16 years, 64% boys) were recruited in POS in low-income neighbourhoods in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp (Belgium). Participants were interviewed while walking in the POS with the interviewer. Using this method, the interviewer could observe and ask questions while the participant was actually experiencing the environment. All audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using Nvivo 10 software and thematic analysis was used to derive categories and subcategories using a grounded theory approach. The most important subcategories that were supportive of visiting POS and performing physical activity in POS were; accessibility by foot/bicycle/public transport, located close to home/school, presence of (active) friends and family, cleanliness of the POS and features, availability of sport and play facilities, large open spaces and beautiful sceneries. The most important subcategories that were unsupportive of visiting POS and physical activity in POS were; presence of undesirable users (drug users, gangs and homeless people), the behaviour of other users and the cleanliness of the POS and features. Social factors appeared often more influential than physical factors, however, it was the combination of social and physical factors that affected adolescents' behaviour in POS. Easily accessible POS with high quality features in the proximity of adolescents' home or school may stimulate physical activity, if adolescents also experience a safe and familiar social environment.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0155686
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30084893

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.