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ERIC Number: EJ897370
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1932-5037
Connecting Children and Family with Nature-Based Physical Activity
Flett, M. Ryan; Moore, Rebecca W.; Pfeiffer, Karin A.; Belonga, Joyce; Navarre, Julie
American Journal of Health Education, v41 n5 p292-300 Sep-Oct 2010
Background: As the obesity epidemic expands to include younger Americans, there is greater need to understand youth experiences and to identify innovative strategies to promote physical activity in children and adolescents. Connecting children and families with nature-based activities is an example of a strategy that may promote physical activity and other aspects of health and well-being in children and youth. Purpose: It is important to determine which aspects of activity in nature youth (and families) find most and least appealing, as well as characteristics of an ideal program. This study is intended to provide a needs assessment and recommended design for a community outreach program. Methods: Six focus groups were conducted with parents and youth in rural Michigan. Thirty-eight of the 42 participants were female. Results: Content analysis generated three major results: (1) Youth enjoy nature, but could be more active and engaged; (2) Adults appreciate restorative aspects of nature; youth prefer competitive and challenging experiences; and (3) Programs should promote, educate, train and create opportunities for youth to engage in healthy lifelong activities. Discussion: Participants showed interest in outdoor activity, but activities must be provided that are compelling and that address the barriers preventing populations from being more active. Translation to Health Education Practice: More effective programs must have clear objectives, build the confidence of participants, be challenging, and above all, fun. Ideal programs should offer both physical activity and ecologically meaningful nature experiences.
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan