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Children 2018, 5(12), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/children5120159

Exploring the Effect of Perceptions on Children’s Physical Activity in Varying Geographic Contexts: Using a Structural Equation Modelling Approach to Examine a Cross-Sectional Dataset

1,2,3
,
1,2,3
,
1,3,4,5
,
1,2,3
and
1,2,3,4,5,6,*
1
Human Environments Analysis Laboratory, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
2
Department of Geography, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
3
Children’s Health Research Institute, London, ON N6C 2V5, Canada
4
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
5
Department of Paediatrics, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
6
School of Health Sciences, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [437 KB, uploaded 27 November 2018]   |  

Abstract

Most Canadian children are not meeting the recommended 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day. Research suggests that children’s perceptions of their environment have an influence on their physical activity behaviours, but there is a lack of generalizability among previous work. The purpose of this study was to assess the mediating effect of children’s perceptions of barriers to physical activity on the relationship between their environments and their level of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (measured with accelerometers). Structural equation modelling stratified by gender was used to assess the research objective in a sample of 546 participants aged 8–14 years old from Northwestern and Southwestern Ontario, Canada. In both models stratified by gender, perceptions of barriers did not significantly mediate the relationship between urbanicity and physical activity. Independent of all other factors, there was no significant relationship between urbanicity and physical activity in girls, but there was in boys. These results offer insight into potential processes by which perceptions impact physical activity and provide initial information to further our understanding of the behavioural aspects of physical activity through multiple levels of analysis. Researchers must continue to improve efforts for quantifying the experience of children’s daily activity contexts. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; children; Canada; urbanicity; accelerometer; barriers; perceptions physical activity; children; Canada; urbanicity; accelerometer; barriers; perceptions
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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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Taylor, L.G.; Clark, A.F.; Wilk, P.; Button, B.L.; Gilliland, J.A. Exploring the Effect of Perceptions on Children’s Physical Activity in Varying Geographic Contexts: Using a Structural Equation Modelling Approach to Examine a Cross-Sectional Dataset. Children 2018, 5, 159.

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