Environmental supportiveness for physical activity in English schoolchildren: A study using Global Positioning Systems
Urban children are most active in gardens and street environments
Jones and colleagues investigated environments where children are physically active. Researchers had 100 children between the ages of 9 and 10 from urban and rural locations in Norfolk, UK wear accelerometers and global positioning system receivers for 4 days during the summer to track their locations and physical activity. In analyzing the data, Jones and colleagues identified all 5 minute bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity and matched this activity to children’s locations with a geographic information system. Researchers found that boys were more active than girls and that children who spent more time outside were more active than children who spent less time outside, especially for girls and children living in rural locations. In addition, Jones and colleagues discovered that children were more active in their neighborhoods, but that boys and rural children engaged in more moderate to vigorous physical activity outside their neighborhoods. With regard to environments for physical activity, researchers found that urban children most commonly used gardens and the street environment for their moderate to vigorous physical activity, while rural children most commonly used farmland and grassland.
Jones, A. P., Coombes, E. G., Griffin, S. J., van Sluijs, E. M. F., (2009). Environmental supportiveness for physical activity in English schoolchildren: A study using Global Positioning Systems. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 6(42)