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Open Access research with a real impact on health...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

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Engineering children's physical activity : making active choices easy

Nelson, N. and Woods, C. (2007) Engineering children's physical activity : making active choices easy. Proceedings of the ICE - Municipal Engineer, 160 (2). pp. 103-109. ISSN 0965-0903

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Abstract

Regular participation in physical activity provides physical, social and mental benefits to young peoples' health and well-being; however, there is increasing concern that large numbers of children and adolescents are doing insufficient physical activity to obtain health benefits. The physical environment is a major factor in providing opportunities to be physically active. In order to plan, design and manage cities that make children happy and safe, it is paramount to consider how children experience their environment, and which specific features of the physical environment are related to their physical activity and consequently their health. This review proposes that physical activity has been engineered out of the daily lives of children through transportation systems, land-use patterns and neighbourhood designs that inhibit play and walking or cycling to school. Research suggests that changing the built environment is a promising strategy in fighting youth inactivity. This will be best achieved through the identification of features of the engineered environment that support or inhibit physical activity. Intervention is required through environmental, policy and legislative changes to make active choices easy.