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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 130; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010130

Built Environment Influences of Children’s Physical Activity: Examining Differences by Neighbourhood Size and Sex

Department of Geography, Western University, 1151 Richmond St., London, ON N6A 5C2, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Harry Timmermans, Astrid Kemperman and Pauline van den Berg
Received: 15 November 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [288 KB, uploaded 15 January 2016]

Abstract

Neighbourhoods can facilitate or constrain moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among children by providing or restricting opportunities for MVPA. However, there is no consensus on how to define a child’s neighbourhood. This study examines the influence of the neighbourhood built environment on objectively measured MVPA among 435 children (aged 9–14 years) in London (ON, Canada). As there is no consensus on how to delineate a child’s neighbourhood, a geographic information system was used to generate measures of the neighbourhood built environment at two buffer sizes (500 m and 800 m) around each child’s home. Linear regression models with robust standard errors (cluster) were used to analyze the relationship between built environment characteristics and average daily MVPA during non-school hours on weekdays. Sex-stratified models assessed sex-specific relationships. When accounting for individual and neighbourhood socio-demographic variables, park space and multi-use path space were found to influence children’s MVPA. Sex-stratified models found significant associations between MVPA and park space, with the 800 m buffer best explaining boys’ MVPA and the 500 m buffer best explaining girls’ MVPA. Findings emphasize that, when designing built environments, programs, and policies to facilitate physical activity, it is important to consider that the size of the neighbourhood influencing a child’s physical activity may differ according to sex. View Full-Text
Keywords: built environment; accelerometer; GIS; physical activity; neighbourhood; child built environment; accelerometer; GIS; physical activity; neighbourhood; child
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mitchell, C.A.; Clark, A.F.; Gilliland, J.A. Built Environment Influences of Children’s Physical Activity: Examining Differences by Neighbourhood Size and Sex. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 130.

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