Physical activity in children: Does how we define neighbourhood matter?

Andy P. Jones, Esther M. F. van Sluijs, Andy R. Ness, Robin Haynes, Chris J. Riddoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Physical activity levels in children are low and factors in the neighbourhood are believed to be influential. However, uncertainty remains about how best to define the neighbourhood. We therefore sought to study the role of area definition on neighbourhood variations in child physical activity using data collected at age 11 from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, UK. We found the effect of neighbourhood of residence on variations in PA was small, explaining under 3% of variance at best, and was not strongly dependent on the manner by which the neighbourhood was defined. Our results suggest that while characteristics of local environments may be important determinants of activity, the delineation of neighbourhoods based on shared social or physical characteristics may not best capture the local influences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalHealth and Place
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this