ERIC Number: EJ914168
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
Children's Active Free Play in Local Neighborhoods: A Behavioral Mapping Study
Veitch, J.; Salmon, J.; Ball, K.
Health Education Research, v23 n5 p870-879 Oct 2008
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 less than 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.
Descriptors: Proximity, Neighborhoods, Urban Planning, Play, Foreign Countries, Socioeconomic Status, Physical Activities, Obesity, Age Differences, Gender Differences, Maps, Elementary School Students, Safety, Parks
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia