School grounds and physical activity: Associations at secondary schools, and over the transition from primary to secondary schools

Flo Harrison, Esther van Sluijs, Kirsten Corder, Andy Jones

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This paper aims to further understanding of the physical environments of secondary schools and their associations with young peoples' physical activity. Accelerometer-derived physical activity measurements from 299 participants in the SPEEDY study (Norfolk, UK) were obtained from baseline measurements (age 9–10 y) and +4y follow-up. These were linked to objective measures of primary and secondary school environments as measured by the SPEEDY grounds audit tool. We saw considerable differences in the nature of school grounds between primary and secondary schools. Cross-sectional associations were seen between active travel provision scores and commuting time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for 13–14 year old boys and adolescents living further from school. However, few associations were seen between changes in school grounds scores and changes in school-based MVPA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalHealth & Place
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Physical activity
  • Environment
  • Secondary school
  • Primary school
  • Audit
  • Adolescents

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