Title

Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Levels in Youth

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2009

Journal

Health & Place

Volume

15

Issue

1

First Page

357

Last Page

363

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.07.001

Abstract

This study assessed the amount of physical activity engaged in by youth aged 11–13, in relation to: (1) the presence of neighborhood recreational opportunities, objectively measured within a geographic information system; and (2) parents’ perceptions of recreation opportunities in their neighborhoods. Students in grade 7 and 8 (n=811) in 21 elementary schools throughout London, Ontario completed the adapted Previous Day Physical Activity Recall and a questionnaire assessing environmental influences in the home and school neighborhoods. Parents/guardians of participants also completed a questionnaire eliciting demographic information and perceptions of the neighborhood environment. On average, students engaged in 159.9 min/day of physical activity. Both subjective and objective measures of recreational opportunities were associated positively with physical activity (p<0.05). Greater access to recreational opportunities seem essential to facilitate youths’ healthy levels of physical activity.