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

journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2008, 00:00 authored by Jenny VeitchJenny Veitch, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Kylie BallKylie Ball
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.

History

Journal

Health education research : theory and practice

Volume

23

Issue

5

Pagination

870 - 879

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Location

Cary, N.C.

ISSN

0268-1153

eISSN

1465-3648

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Oxford University Press