Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 333–341 | Cite as

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

  • Jenny VeitchEmail author
  • Anna Timperio
  • David Crawford
  • Gavin Abbott
  • Billie Giles-Corti
  • Jo Salmon
Original Article



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.


Children Parks Sedentary behaviour Neighbourhood Longitudinal Accelerometry 



This study was funded by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC ID: 274309). Jenny Veitch is supported by a National Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Jo Salmon is supported by a National Heart Foundation of Australia and sanofi-aventis Career Development Award Fellowship. David Crawford and Anna Timperio are supported by Public Health Research Fellowships from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. Billie Giles-Corti is supported by an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (#513702).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenny Veitch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Timperio
    • 1
  • David Crawford
    • 1
  • Gavin Abbott
    • 1
  • Billie Giles-Corti
    • 2
  • Jo Salmon
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition ResearchDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for the Built Environment and Health, School of Population HealthUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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