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The neighborhood and home environments: Disparate relationships with physical activity and sedentary behaviors in youth

Summary


To increase children’s physical activity, planners need to design environments that support active living and parents should limit access to television

To increase participation in physical activity, it is important to understand the factors associated with a child’s choice to be physically active or sedentary. The neighborhood and home environments may be related to this choice. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the neighborhood environment or number of televisions in the home environment were independently associated with child physical activity and television time. The associations of the neighborhood and home environments on active and sedentary behaviors were studied in 44 boys and 44 girls who wore accelerometers and recorded their television watching behaviors. Neighborhood environment variables were measured using extensive geographic information systems analysis. The authors found that the neighborhood environment is more strongly associated with physical activity of boys than girls. Sedentary behaviors were associated with access to television in the home environment. The authors suggest that to promote physical activity in children, planners need to design environments that support active living and parents should limit access to television viewing in the home.

Citation

Roemmich, J. N., Epstein, L. H., Raja, S., Yin, L., (2007). The neighborhood and home environments: Disparate relationships with physical activity and sedentary behaviors in youth. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33(1), 29-38.

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