Limits...
Where they live, how they play: neighborhood greenness and outdoor physical activity among preschoolers.

Grigsby-Toussaint DS, Chi SH, Fiese BH, STRONG Kids Project Writing Gro - Int J Health Geogr (2011)

Bottom Line: We examined whether residing in neighborhoods with higher levels of greenness was associated with higher levels of outdoor physical activity among preschoolers.Higher levels of neighborhood greenness as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was associated with higher levels of outdoor playing time among preschool-aged children in our sample.However, for preschoolers, parental involvement may be more critical for improving physical activity levels.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA. dgrigs1@illinois.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Emerging empirical evidence suggests exposure to "green" environments may encourage higher levels of physical activity among children. Few studies, however, have explored this association exclusively in pre-school aged children in the United States. We examined whether residing in neighborhoods with higher levels of greenness was associated with higher levels of outdoor physical activity among preschoolers. In addition, we also explored whether outdoor playing behaviors (e.g., active vs. quiet) were influenced by levels of neighborhood greenness independent of demographic and parental support factors.

Results: Higher levels of neighborhood greenness as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was associated with higher levels of outdoor playing time among preschool-aged children in our sample. Specifically, a one unit increase in neighborhood greenness increased a child's outdoor playing time by approximately 3 minutes. A dose-response relationship was observed between increasing levels of parental support for physical activity (e.g., time spent playing with children) and child outdoor physical activity (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Consistent with previous studies, neighborhood greenness influences physical activity behavior. However, for preschoolers, parental involvement may be more critical for improving physical activity levels.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Classification of physical activity behaviors.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3278349&req=5

Figure 1: Classification of physical activity behaviors.

Mentions: Two dependent variables were constructed for analyses. The first variable, outdoor physical activity, was based on questions included on the STRONG Kids survey from Burdette et al [18]. Parents were asked to report "how many minutes does your child spend" on each activity of indoor active playing, indoor quiet playing, outdoor active playing, and outdoor quiet playing on an "average WEEKDAY" as well as an "average WEEKEND DAY" (two separate questions). Parental responses to these questions have been shown to be highly correlated with measures of physical activity obtained by accelerometers [18]. Total outdoor playing time (in minutes) was calculated for each child to indicate outdoor physical activity. The second variable, categorized as physical activity behaviors, was constructed using z-scores of the amount of time children spent on active or quiet outdoor playing (Figure 1). Thus the z-score of each child represents the standardized value of time in active outdoor and quiet outdoor playing respectively. We plotted the z-scores on a two-dimensional plane where the × and Y axes represented active and quiet outdoor playing time, resulting in four "groups" of physical activity behaviors. The first group was labeled "multi-players" (n = 98) due to high z-scores for both outdoor active and quiet playing time. The second group (n = 49) was labeled "sandbox lovers" due to high scores on quiet outdoor playing time, but low scores on active outdoor playing time. The third group (n = 129) was labeled "rainy day kids" as they showed limited interest in any outdoor playing activities. The fourth group (n = 89), we labeled "sporty kids" due to much higher levels of outdoor active playing time, but limited outdoor quiet playing time.


Where they live, how they play: neighborhood greenness and outdoor physical activity among preschoolers.

Grigsby-Toussaint DS, Chi SH, Fiese BH, STRONG Kids Project Writing Gro - Int J Health Geogr (2011)

Classification of physical activity behaviors.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3278349&req=5

Figure 1: Classification of physical activity behaviors.
Mentions: Two dependent variables were constructed for analyses. The first variable, outdoor physical activity, was based on questions included on the STRONG Kids survey from Burdette et al [18]. Parents were asked to report "how many minutes does your child spend" on each activity of indoor active playing, indoor quiet playing, outdoor active playing, and outdoor quiet playing on an "average WEEKDAY" as well as an "average WEEKEND DAY" (two separate questions). Parental responses to these questions have been shown to be highly correlated with measures of physical activity obtained by accelerometers [18]. Total outdoor playing time (in minutes) was calculated for each child to indicate outdoor physical activity. The second variable, categorized as physical activity behaviors, was constructed using z-scores of the amount of time children spent on active or quiet outdoor playing (Figure 1). Thus the z-score of each child represents the standardized value of time in active outdoor and quiet outdoor playing respectively. We plotted the z-scores on a two-dimensional plane where the × and Y axes represented active and quiet outdoor playing time, resulting in four "groups" of physical activity behaviors. The first group was labeled "multi-players" (n = 98) due to high z-scores for both outdoor active and quiet playing time. The second group (n = 49) was labeled "sandbox lovers" due to high scores on quiet outdoor playing time, but low scores on active outdoor playing time. The third group (n = 129) was labeled "rainy day kids" as they showed limited interest in any outdoor playing activities. The fourth group (n = 89), we labeled "sporty kids" due to much higher levels of outdoor active playing time, but limited outdoor quiet playing time.

Bottom Line: We examined whether residing in neighborhoods with higher levels of greenness was associated with higher levels of outdoor physical activity among preschoolers.Higher levels of neighborhood greenness as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was associated with higher levels of outdoor playing time among preschool-aged children in our sample.However, for preschoolers, parental involvement may be more critical for improving physical activity levels.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA. dgrigs1@illinois.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Emerging empirical evidence suggests exposure to "green" environments may encourage higher levels of physical activity among children. Few studies, however, have explored this association exclusively in pre-school aged children in the United States. We examined whether residing in neighborhoods with higher levels of greenness was associated with higher levels of outdoor physical activity among preschoolers. In addition, we also explored whether outdoor playing behaviors (e.g., active vs. quiet) were influenced by levels of neighborhood greenness independent of demographic and parental support factors.

Results: Higher levels of neighborhood greenness as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was associated with higher levels of outdoor playing time among preschool-aged children in our sample. Specifically, a one unit increase in neighborhood greenness increased a child's outdoor playing time by approximately 3 minutes. A dose-response relationship was observed between increasing levels of parental support for physical activity (e.g., time spent playing with children) and child outdoor physical activity (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Consistent with previous studies, neighborhood greenness influences physical activity behavior. However, for preschoolers, parental involvement may be more critical for improving physical activity levels.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus