An analysis of children’s use, negotiation and perceptions of their local environment for physical activity
As the obesity epidemic in children increases, it is important to consider the role of safe, outdoor play environments that support children’s physical activity in their local community. This research provides an analysis of how neighborhood environments support or hinder children’s healthy development from the perspective of children and their caretakers.
Fourth and fifth grade children (ages 9-12) at two diverse Denver elementary schools participated in the research by creating a Children’s Guide to Active Living, in which they articulated their experiences and ideas about improving their local environment to promote physical activity. Research activities included aerial photography and GIS mapping, focus groups, geography diaries and photography.
The children’s guidebook showcases results of the student research and provides information for children and their families about where children like to play and hang out, where children and their families get food, and bad places that children would like to change. The book is written by the children themselves in both English and Spanish and will be distributed through the participating communities this summer and next fall.
This project is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
For more information, contact Project Director Pamela Wridt at firstname.lastname@example.org.