The influence of neighbourhood green space on children's physical activity and screen time : findings from the longitudinal study of Australian children
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Objective: It is often hypothesised that neighbourhood green space may help prevent well-known declines in physical activity and increases in sedentary behaviour that occur across childhood. As most studies in this regard are cross-sectional, the purpose of our study was to use longitudinal data to examine whether green space promotes active lifestyles as children grow older. Methods: Data came from participants (n = 4983; age = 4-5) of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, a nationally representative study on health and child development. Physical activity and screen time were measured biennially (2004-2012) using questionnaires and time use diaries. Quantity of neighbourhood green space was objectively measured using Australian Bureau of Statistics mesh block data for each participant's statistical area level 2. Multilevel regression was used to test for associations between physical activity and screen time with green space quantity, adjusting for socio-economic confounders. Results: Boys living in areas with 10 % more neighbourhood green space had a: 7 % (95 % CI = 1.02, 1.13) greater odds of choosing physically active pastimes; 8 % (95 % CI = 0.85, 1.00) lower odds of not enjoying physical activity; 2.3 min reduction in weekend television viewing (95 % CI = -4.00, -0.69); and 7 % (95 % CI = 1.02; 1.12) and 9 % (95 % CI = 1.03; 1.15) greater odds of meeting physical activity guidelines on weekdays and weekends, respectively. No statistically (or practically) significant results were observed for girls. Conclusion: Current provisions of neighbourhood green space may be more amenable to promoting active lifestyles among boys than girls. Research is needed to explore what types of green space promote active lifestyles in all children.
Sanders , T , Feng , X , Fahey , P P , Lonsdale , C & Astell-Burt , T E 2015 , ' The influence of neighbourhood green space on children's physical activity and screen time : findings from the longitudinal study of Australian children ' International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity , vol 12 , 126 . DOI: 10.1186/s12966-015-0288-z
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
© 2015 Sanders et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
TS is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award. TAB is supported by a Fellowship with the National Heart Foundation of Australia (No. 100161).