A place to play: Socioeconomic and spatial factors in children's physical activity

Ziviani, Jenny, Wadley, David, Ward, Heather, Macdonald, Doune, Jenkins, David and Rodger, Sylvia (2008) A place to play: Socioeconomic and spatial factors in children's physical activity. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 55 1: 2-11. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1630.2006.00646.x

Author Ziviani, Jenny
Wadley, David
Ward, Heather
Macdonald, Doune
Jenkins, David
Rodger, Sylvia
Title A place to play: Socioeconomic and spatial factors in children's physical activity
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-0766
Publication date 2008-03-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2006.00646.x
Volume 55
Issue 1
Start page 2
End page 11
Total pages 10
Editor Janet Fricke
Place of publication Carlton, Vic., Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Subject 321024 Rehabilitation and Therapy - Occupational and Physical
730303 Occupational, speech and physiotherapy
110321 Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl. Physiotherapy)
920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
Formatted abstract
Background and aims: Concerns about physical inactivity in children and growing levels of obesity are expressed by politicians, health economists and those involved with the health and well-being of children. As this has the potential to be a major health issue, the aim of this investigation was to explore any contributing socioenvironmental considerations.

Methods and results
: Census-matched survey data were analysed from 318 parents of 6- to 7-year-old children, revealing that family socioeconomic status (SES) influenced the places where children engaged in physical activity. Children from low SES backgrounds spent significantly more time playing close to their homes, and their families were less able to afford access to commercial physical-activity facilities, than those from middle and high SES families. Although neighbourhood-based activities are generally associated with more spontaneous free play, such activities may not provide the same opportunities for supervision and physical skill building available through commercial-based activities.

Conclusions: Given that access to 'enriching' physical-activity spaces may be limited by the capacity to pay, these findings have implications for professionals such as occupational therapists who can take on a role in advocating for equity in access and promotion of a more engaging urban design. Dialogue with urban planners is central to this process.
Keyword physical activity places
socioeconomic variables
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Additional Notes Published Online: 20 Jun 2007

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Created: Tue, 11 Mar 2008, 23:04:12 EST