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Medicina is published by MDPI from Volume 54 Issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Lithuanian Medical Association, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and Vilnius University.
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Associations between built environment and physical activity of 7–8-year-old children. Cross-sectional results from the Lithuanian COSI study

Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, Academy of Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2016, 52(6), 366-371;
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 13 November 2016 / Published: 21 November 2016
Background and aim: Research shows that regular engagement in physical activity in childhood is associated with multiple physical and psychosocial health benefits. The data on associations between children physical activity level and built environment in Lithuania are limited. The built environment is one of many variables thought to affect children physical activity level. But consequently there is growing interest in how physical environment influences physical activity of school age children. The aim of this paper is to evaluate associations between physical activity of primary school age children and built environment (road safety, travel distance, playgrounds, etc.) in Lithuania.
Materials and methods: Data were obtained participating in the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI). The study protocol was granted ethical approval from Lithuanian Bioethics Committee (No. 6B-10-02). Parents/guardians provided written informed consent. A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2013. A multilevel sampling method was employed for composing a national representative sample. The representing data were collected by means of standardized questionnaires, which were filled out by 3802 parents of the selected first-formers.
Results: The mean age of the first-formers was 7.3 years (SD 0.5). More than half (62.2%) of parents stated that roads to schools were safe; most (78.7%) of adults notified that children had where to play and exercise in their living area. Place of residence of family and recreation areas in living environment were significant predictors of children's daily physical activity and possibility to attend sport or dancing clubs.
Conclusions: Results from the national survey of 7–8-year-old children of Lithuania reveal that urban living area of families, availability of playgrounds and recreational facilities were associated with higher possibilities of children to be sufficiently physically active.
Keywords: Children; Physical activity; Built environment Children; Physical activity; Built environment
MDPI and ACS Style

Žaltauskė, V.; Petrauskienė, A. Associations between built environment and physical activity of 7–8-year-old children. Cross-sectional results from the Lithuanian COSI study. Medicina 2016, 52, 366-371.

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