Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Features of public open spaces and physical activity among children : findings from the CLAN study

journal contribution
posted on 2008-11-01, 00:00 authored by Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, B Giles-Corti, David CrawfordDavid Crawford, Nick Andrianopoulos, Kylie BallKylie Ball, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Clare Hume
Objective : To examine associations between features of public open spaces, and children's physical activity.
Participants : 163 children aged 8–9 years and 334 adolescents aged 13–15 years from Melbourne, Australia participated in 2004.
Methods : A Geographic Information System was used to identify all public open spaces (POS) within 800 m of participants' homes and their closest POS. The features of all POS identified were audited in 2004/5. Accelerometers measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) after school and on weekends. Linear regression analyses examined associations between features of the closest POS and participants' MVPA.
Results : Most participants had a POS within 800 m of their home. The presence of playgrounds was positively associated with younger boys' weekend MVPA (B = 24.9 min/day; p ≤ 0.05), and lighting along paths was inversely associated with weekend MVPA (B = − 54.9 min/day; p ≤ 0.05). The number of recreational facilities was inversely associated with younger girls' MVPA after school (B = − 2.6 min/day; p ≤ 0.05) and on the weekend (B = − 8.7 min/day; p ≤ 0.05). The presence of trees providing shade (5.8 min/day, p ≤ 0.01) and signage regarding dogs (B = 6.8 min/day, p ≤ 0.05) were positively associated with adolescent girls' MVPA after school.
Conclusion : Certain features of POS were associated with participants' MVPA, although mixed associations were evident. Further research is required to clarify these complex relationships.



Preventive medicine






514 - 518


Academic Press


San Diego, Calif.





Indigenous content

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologise for any distress that may occur.



Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Elsevier