Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Levels in Youth

Organization Sponsor: Western University (formerly University of Western Ontario)


Program Description

This study assessed the amount of physical activity engaged in by youth aged 11–13, in relation to: (1) the presence of neighborhood recreational opportunities, objectively measured within a geographic information system; and (2) parents’ perceptions of recreation opportunities in their neighborhoods.

Program Approximate Cost: 

Free for participants

Funding Sources: 

University of Western Ontario

Strategies For Sustainability: 

This research is support by University of Western Ontario.

Impact Of Program: 

On average, students engaged in 159.9 minutes/day of physical activity. Both subjective and objective measures of recreational opportunities were associated positively with physical activity (p<0.05). Greater access to recreational opportunities seem essential to facilitate youths’ healthy levels of physical activity.

Evaluation Tools: 

Students in grade 7 and 8 (n=811) in 21 elementary schools throughout London, Ontario completed the adapted Previous Day Physical Activity Recall and a questionnaire assessing environmental influences in the home and school neighborhoods. Parents/guardians of participants also completed a questionnaire eliciting demographic information and perceptions of the neighborhood environment.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

This research is conducted in a controlled university research environment.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

As with any research project, getting the participation of large numbers of subjects can be hard. This was conducted in a school environment, which aided the gathering of data.

Length and Stage of Project: 


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