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Article

Exploring Children’s Views on Important Park Features: A Qualitative Study Using Walk-Along Interviews

1
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia
2
Institute for Health and Sport (iHeS), Victoria University, Melbourne 3011, Australia
3
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
4
Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health research unit, Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4625; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134625
Received: 27 May 2020 / Revised: 19 June 2020 / Accepted: 22 June 2020 / Published: 27 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
Parks are places where children can interact with others and engage in physical activity in a natural setting. Park visits can enhance children’s social, mental, and physical health. It is therefore important to better understand how parks can be designed to ensure optimal use by children. This qualitative study explored children’s perceptions of park features that may influence their park visits, park-based physical activity, and social interaction. Qualitative walk-along interviews were completed with 30 children (mean age 9.7 years (SD 1.3), female n = 16) in nine parks located in varying socioeconomic areas of Melbourne, Australia. As they walked through the park, children shared thoughts regarding characteristics that may influence their visitation, park-based physical activity, and social interactions. Features that would encourage visitation included: challenging and interesting play equipment; a pond and water play area; trees/greenery and shade; and full-sized basketball courts. Features most valued for physical activity included: sports courts, ovals, and equipment; open space; trees to climb; and nature/rocks. Features most valued for social interaction included: a large size; playgrounds; and picnic areas. Children offer unique and important views. Park designers should consider inclusion of these features, when (re)developing parks to support children to lead healthy and active lives. View Full-Text
Keywords: parks; physical activity; social interaction; children; design parks; physical activity; social interaction; children; design
MDPI and ACS Style

Veitch, J.; Flowers, E.; Ball, K.; Deforche, B.; Timperio, A. Exploring Children’s Views on Important Park Features: A Qualitative Study Using Walk-Along Interviews. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4625. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134625

AMA Style

Veitch J, Flowers E, Ball K, Deforche B, Timperio A. Exploring Children’s Views on Important Park Features: A Qualitative Study Using Walk-Along Interviews. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(13):4625. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134625

Chicago/Turabian Style

Veitch, Jenny, Elliott Flowers, Kylie Ball, Benedicte Deforche, and Anna Timperio. 2020. "Exploring Children’s Views on Important Park Features: A Qualitative Study Using Walk-Along Interviews" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 13: 4625. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134625

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