Environmental determinants of outdoor play in children: A large-scale cross-sectional study

M.J. Aarts, W. Wendel-Vos, J.A.M. van Oers, L.A.M. van de Goor, A.J. Schuit

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Abstract

Background:
Outdoor play is a cheap and natural way for children to be physically active.
Purpose:
This study aims to identify physical as well as social correlates of outdoor play in the home and neighborhood environment among children of different age groups.
Methods:
Cross-sectional data were derived from 6470 parents of children from 42 primary schools in four Dutch cities by means of questionnaires (2007-2008). Multivariate sequential Poisson GEE analyses were conducted (2010) to quantify the correlation between physical and social home and neighborhood characteristics and outdoor play among boys and girls aged 4-6 years, 7-9 years, and 10-12 years.
Results:
This study showed that next to proximal (home) environmental characteristics such as parental education (RR=0.93-0.97); the importance parents pay to outdoor play (RR=1.32-1.75); and the presence of electronic devices in the child's own room (RR=1.04-1.15), several neighborhood characteristics were significantly associated with children's outdoor play. Neighborhood social cohesion was related to outdoor play in five of six subgroups (RR=1.01-1.02), whereas physical neighborhood characteristics (e.g., green neighborhood type, presence of water, diversity of routes) were associated with outdoor play in specific subgroups only.
Conclusions:
Neighborhood social cohesion was related to outdoor play among children of different age and gender, which makes it a promising point of action for policy development. Policies aimed at improving physical neighborhood characteristics in relation to outdoor play should take into account age and gender of the target population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-219
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Cross-Sectional Studies
Parents
Age Groups
Education
Equipment and Supplies

Cite this

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title = "Environmental determinants of outdoor play in children: A large-scale cross-sectional study",
abstract = "Background: Outdoor play is a cheap and natural way for children to be physically active.Purpose: This study aims to identify physical as well as social correlates of outdoor play in the home and neighborhood environment among children of different age groups.Methods: Cross-sectional data were derived from 6470 parents of children from 42 primary schools in four Dutch cities by means of questionnaires (2007-2008). Multivariate sequential Poisson GEE analyses were conducted (2010) to quantify the correlation between physical and social home and neighborhood characteristics and outdoor play among boys and girls aged 4-6 years, 7-9 years, and 10-12 years.Results: This study showed that next to proximal (home) environmental characteristics such as parental education (RR=0.93-0.97); the importance parents pay to outdoor play (RR=1.32-1.75); and the presence of electronic devices in the child's own room (RR=1.04-1.15), several neighborhood characteristics were significantly associated with children's outdoor play. Neighborhood social cohesion was related to outdoor play in five of six subgroups (RR=1.01-1.02), whereas physical neighborhood characteristics (e.g., green neighborhood type, presence of water, diversity of routes) were associated with outdoor play in specific subgroups only.Conclusions: Neighborhood social cohesion was related to outdoor play among children of different age and gender, which makes it a promising point of action for policy development. Policies aimed at improving physical neighborhood characteristics in relation to outdoor play should take into account age and gender of the target population.",
author = "M.J. Aarts and W. Wendel-Vos and {van Oers}, J.A.M. and {van de Goor}, L.A.M. and A.J. Schuit",
year = "2010",
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journal = "American Journal of Preventive Medicine",
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Environmental determinants of outdoor play in children : A large-scale cross-sectional study. / Aarts, M.J.; Wendel-Vos, W.; van Oers, J.A.M.; van de Goor, L.A.M.; Schuit, A.J.

In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 39, No. 3, 2010, p. 212-219.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Environmental determinants of outdoor play in children

T2 - A large-scale cross-sectional study

AU - Aarts, M.J.

AU - Wendel-Vos, W.

AU - van Oers, J.A.M.

AU - van de Goor, L.A.M.

AU - Schuit, A.J.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Background: Outdoor play is a cheap and natural way for children to be physically active.Purpose: This study aims to identify physical as well as social correlates of outdoor play in the home and neighborhood environment among children of different age groups.Methods: Cross-sectional data were derived from 6470 parents of children from 42 primary schools in four Dutch cities by means of questionnaires (2007-2008). Multivariate sequential Poisson GEE analyses were conducted (2010) to quantify the correlation between physical and social home and neighborhood characteristics and outdoor play among boys and girls aged 4-6 years, 7-9 years, and 10-12 years.Results: This study showed that next to proximal (home) environmental characteristics such as parental education (RR=0.93-0.97); the importance parents pay to outdoor play (RR=1.32-1.75); and the presence of electronic devices in the child's own room (RR=1.04-1.15), several neighborhood characteristics were significantly associated with children's outdoor play. Neighborhood social cohesion was related to outdoor play in five of six subgroups (RR=1.01-1.02), whereas physical neighborhood characteristics (e.g., green neighborhood type, presence of water, diversity of routes) were associated with outdoor play in specific subgroups only.Conclusions: Neighborhood social cohesion was related to outdoor play among children of different age and gender, which makes it a promising point of action for policy development. Policies aimed at improving physical neighborhood characteristics in relation to outdoor play should take into account age and gender of the target population.

AB - Background: Outdoor play is a cheap and natural way for children to be physically active.Purpose: This study aims to identify physical as well as social correlates of outdoor play in the home and neighborhood environment among children of different age groups.Methods: Cross-sectional data were derived from 6470 parents of children from 42 primary schools in four Dutch cities by means of questionnaires (2007-2008). Multivariate sequential Poisson GEE analyses were conducted (2010) to quantify the correlation between physical and social home and neighborhood characteristics and outdoor play among boys and girls aged 4-6 years, 7-9 years, and 10-12 years.Results: This study showed that next to proximal (home) environmental characteristics such as parental education (RR=0.93-0.97); the importance parents pay to outdoor play (RR=1.32-1.75); and the presence of electronic devices in the child's own room (RR=1.04-1.15), several neighborhood characteristics were significantly associated with children's outdoor play. Neighborhood social cohesion was related to outdoor play in five of six subgroups (RR=1.01-1.02), whereas physical neighborhood characteristics (e.g., green neighborhood type, presence of water, diversity of routes) were associated with outdoor play in specific subgroups only.Conclusions: Neighborhood social cohesion was related to outdoor play among children of different age and gender, which makes it a promising point of action for policy development. Policies aimed at improving physical neighborhood characteristics in relation to outdoor play should take into account age and gender of the target population.

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JF - American Journal of Preventive Medicine

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