Special Issue "Active Spaces and Public Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Shirley Wyver
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia
Dr. Lina Engelen
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The spaces humans occupy have an important influence on actual activity and opportunities to be active. This Special Issue aims to consider available evidence and debates relating to active spaces.  Our intention is to define ‘active spaces’ broadly and attract research from a range of disciplines. Spaces may include spaces to work, play, learn and age, such as wild areas, office buildings, transport, and any other features that might promote or restrict activity. Activity may be physical or social. We are interested in all ages. Research can include individuals and/or groups.

We are interested in receiving original empirical studies, systematic reviews, meta-analyses and theoretical papers. Acceptable empirical studies range from case studies to large-scale RCTs and longitudinal studies. We invite qualitative and quantitative methods. Reports on innovative measures and analyses are particularly welcome. The quality of the research is important and we are unlikely to accept exploratory studies.

This Special Issue welcomes original, review, and meta-analyses studies in any subject area related to physical activity, active environment, and their relationship with health outcomes.

Dr. Shirley Wyver
Dr. Lina Engelen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Active space
  • active work environment
  • outdoor space
  • indoor space
  • park
  • playground
  • school recess
  • movement
  • sedentary
  • loose parts
  • nature-play
  • forest school
  • physical play
  • SOPLAY
  • SOPARC
  • walkability
  • green space

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Perceived Crowding and Risk Perception According to Leisure Activity Type during COVID-19 Using Spatial Proximity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020457 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the difference in people’s perceived crowding and risk perception during leisure activities using the criteria of spatial proximity during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory tract disease that poses an increasing risk of infection through person-to-person [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the difference in people’s perceived crowding and risk perception during leisure activities using the criteria of spatial proximity during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory tract disease that poses an increasing risk of infection through person-to-person transmission in a confined space or close proximity to an infected person. It is thus crucial to maintain a sufficiently safe distance from others during leisure activities. In this study, measures concerning leisure activity spaces and the current status of leisure activities were investigated. Data were gathered from a total of 1078 participants via an online survey conducted from 26 to 29 October 2020. Frequency analysis was performed to investigate the sample characteristics and exploratory factor analysis was performed to analyze the validity of the measurement tools. Results revealed that people’s perceived crowding of leisure activity spaces directly influenced their participation in leisure activities. Regarding age, those in their 20s were more aware of congestion and their risk perception was higher than those in their 40s and 50s. It was found that people perceived cultural and artistic activities to be dangerous as they often take place as part of tourism and leisure activities and amidst crowds. However, their high-risk perception indirectly influenced their participation patterns, making it difficult to enjoy leisure activities. To lower the risk perception of leisure activity spaces, it was necessary to secure more safe distancing than current regulations require. Future research must conduct a longitudinal investigation by objectively stratifying the degree of perceived crowding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Spaces and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Planning for Supportive Green Spaces in the Winter City of China: Linking Exercise of Elderly Residents and Exercise Prescription for Cardiovascular Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165762 - 10 Aug 2020
Viewed by 815
Abstract
The elderly population have a high incidence of cardiovascular disease and are the main users of green spaces, such as city parks. Creating supportive green spaces for exercise for the elderly is of great significance to promote their cardiovascular health. The winter cities [...] Read more.
The elderly population have a high incidence of cardiovascular disease and are the main users of green spaces, such as city parks. Creating supportive green spaces for exercise for the elderly is of great significance to promote their cardiovascular health. The winter cities have a severely cold climate and high incidence of cardiovascular disease, while the elderly, especially those with cardiovascular disease, face more challenges when participating in exercise in the green spaces. In the context of the winter cities, the kinds of exercise the elderly participate in are more conducive to their cardiovascular health, and determining the factors of the green spaces that are supportive for exercise for cardiovascular health in the winter are of particular interest. Taking Harbin, a typical winter city in China, as an example, this study aims to identify the exercise characteristics of elderly residents in the green spaces in winter, to link them with the principles and contents of exercise prescription for cardiovascular health, to identify the deficient factors of the green spaces in supporting exercise for cardiovascular health, and to put forward optimization design implications. Mixed qualitative methods including interviews, a questionnaire, and field observation were used to identify special behavioral characteristics and spatial factors involving winter exercise in the green spaces among the elderly. The results showed that: (1) about 42.4% of the participants had a gap with the principles of exercise prescription for cardiovascular health. Their exercise items were generally consistent with the principle of low-intensity exercise, but some of them had the problems regarding early exercise time and insufficient exercise duration and frequency. (2) Insufficient supportive factors of the green spaces mainly included facilities allocation, comfort, safety, accessibility, and air quality. Facilities allocation involved walking paths, rehabilitation facilities, auxiliary facilities, and guidance facilities; comfort involved sunlight conditions of the exercise areas; safety involved slippery roads and sites with ice and snow and medical accidents; accessibility involved the proximity, the safety of connecting roads, and the movement of the elderly; air quality involved the planting of evergreen trees. Accordingly, the design implications were given in order to bridge the supportive gap of the green spaces for exercise for cardiovascular health in the elderly population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Spaces and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Short-Term FIFA 11+ Improves Agility and Jump Performance in Young Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2017; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062017 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
Studies dealing with the effectiveness of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 11+ prevention program to improve performance outcomes in children aged < 14 years are limited. This study aimed to point out the effects of the application of short-term FIFA 11+ [...] Read more.
Studies dealing with the effectiveness of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 11+ prevention program to improve performance outcomes in children aged < 14 years are limited. This study aimed to point out the effects of the application of short-term FIFA 11+ warm-up program on physical performance in young football players. Participants were 36 youth male football players, divided into a FIFA 11+ (n = 19; mean (SD) age: 11.15 (0.79) y) and a control group (CG: n = 17; age: 10.87 (0.8) y) and trained for 4 weeks. Before and after the training period, standing long jump performance, agility, repeated sprint ability, sit and reach, and “30–15” intermittent fitness tests were assessed. A mixed ANOVA showed significant differences between the groups in the standing long jump test (FIFA 11+: 5.6% vs. CG: −1.9%) in favor of FIFA 11+ over CG. Additionally, the FIFA 11+ performance of the Illinois agility test was significantly better compared to the CG performance (FIFA 11+: −1.9% vs. CG: 0.03%). The main findings of this study suggest that just 4 weeks of implementation of the FIFA 11+ improves physical performance compared with traditional warm-up routines in young soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Spaces and Public Health)

Review

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Open AccessReview
A Scoping Review of How Income Affects Accessing Local Green Space to Engage in Outdoor Physical Activity to Improve Well-Being: Implications for Post-COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249313 - 12 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Background: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has set out guidance for promoting physical activity (PA) in the physical environment to promote health and well-being. The aim of this selective scoping review was to investigate the influence of gross income [...] Read more.
Background: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has set out guidance for promoting physical activity (PA) in the physical environment to promote health and well-being. The aim of this selective scoping review was to investigate the influence of gross income on accessing local green spaces to engage in PA and the associated health benefits. Methods: A scoping review was conducted of international literature to facilitate the clarification of the research question. Findings: 15 papers were critically appraised under two themes: (1) environments and well-being and (2) PA and income/socioeconomic status and impact on the frequency, duration and opportunity to engage in PA. Interpretation: Income is related to differential use of green and blue spaces for PA, due mainly to access issues. People who live in lower socioeconomic areas tend to be more sedentary and there are also gender differences related to PA in built environments. Conclusion: There is an effect of income in using green spaces for PA, but the relationship is non-linear, and there is still a lack of knowledge about what kind of green spaces are best for health benefits. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of accessing green local spaces to engage in physical exercise to improve well-being among the public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Spaces and Public Health)
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Open AccessReview
Does Active Design Influence Activity, Sitting, Wellbeing and Productivity in the Workplace? A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249228 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 652
Abstract
Active design is an emerging concept to incorporate physical activity into daily life through thoughtful design, and is often implemented in new building designs. It is, however, not known what evidence base there is to support the claims. Through this systematic review, the [...] Read more.
Active design is an emerging concept to incorporate physical activity into daily life through thoughtful design, and is often implemented in new building designs. It is, however, not known what evidence base there is to support the claims. Through this systematic review, the current evidence for active design was investigated. Seven databases were searched. A range of search terms relating to active design, physical activity, sitting, performance and wellbeing were used. After title and abstract screening of 1174 papers and full-text screening, 17 were selected for inclusion. The papers provided promising evidence of active design aiding a reduction in sitting and increase in standing time. Limited evidence was found for physical activity; a few studies reported an increase in step counts. Musculoskeletal effects were investigated in few studies, but there is some evidence of benefits to lower back pain. There was consistent evidence for better light and air quality, but no evidence for other features of the workplace environment. No conclusive evidence was found on associations between active design features and work performance. There is hence some evidence to support the benefit of active design on physical health; however, the dearth and heterogeneity of the study designs, measures and findings warrant further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Spaces and Public Health)
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