Walkable for whom? Examining the role of the built environment on the neighbourhood-based physical activity of children

Using qualitative methods, the authors explored the impact of built and social neighborhood environments on children's physical activity patterns. Twenty-four parent-child dyads participated in semi-structured interviews. Their Saskatoon neighborhoods included urban, semi-suburban and suburban design types and ranged from low to high median income. Both parents and children emphasized the importance of safe environments for child physical activity. Characteristics of such environments included having streets or paths to cycle on without feelings of threat; parks and green spaces without criminal activity; and neighborhoods with people who know each other and where children can play with one another. Higher levels of crime and traffic danger in grid-pattern urban neighborhoods may offset the active transportation that is promoted their density of destinations. The authors suggest that understanding what facilitates activity in children requires understanding neighborhood-level barriers to physical activity as well as social and perceptual factors that promote or hinder child physical activity.


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  • Accession Number: 01489944
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2013 12:32PM