, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 333-341

Is the Neighbourhood Environment Associated with Sedentary Behaviour Outside of School Hours Among Children?

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Little is known about neighbourhood environments and children’s sedentary behaviour outside school hours.


This study aims to examine the associations between public open spaces (POS), parent perceptions of the neighbourhood and children’s sedentary behaviours.


Parents reported their child’s television viewing and computer/electronic game time and their perceptions of the physical and social neighbourhood. Children’s sedentary time was objectively assessed. The closest POS was audited.


Cross-sectionally, living near a POS with a water feature and greater parental satisfaction with POS quality were negatively associated with computer/e-games; greater POS area was negatively associated with TV viewing. Longitudinally, living in a cul-de-sac and greater satisfaction with POS quality were negatively associated with computer/e-games and TV viewing, respectively. A walking path in the POS was positively associated with computer/e-games.


Neighbourhood features appear to positively and negatively influence children’s sedentary behaviours, highlighting the complexity of urban planning on behaviour. Further age- and context-specific studies are required.