The impact of urban design on active transportation patterns in children [ 2006 - 2008 ]

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Billie Giles-Corti (Principal investigator) ,  Dr Kimberly Van Niel Dr Terri Pikora Prof Anna Timperio Prof Max Bulsara

Brief description There are growing concerns about children's level of physical activity and increasing levels of overweight and obesity. Encouraging active transport among children, particularly walking to school, has been identified as one strategy to increase physical activity, thereby assisting to curb increasing levels of overweight and obesity. While a laudable objective, it is not clear: (a) to what extent the urban design surrounding schools hinders or facilitates children walking to school; and (b) what the true potential of children being able to walk to school is, given the low density of many contemporary local neighbourhoods. Thus, this study is important because it examines the real potential for children to walk to school in their neighbourhood, and compares parental and student perceptions of the neighbourhood with objective measures of the neighbourhood. The study will compare the active transport habits of children attending schools with optimal and less than optimal neighbourhood environments. Optimal and less optimal urban environments will be identified by creating an objectively measured child pedestrian-specific walkability index using GIS. These data will provide insights to support policy development by government and non-government members of Walking WA to better plan future schools (i.e., Department of Education and Training); to plan future Walking School Buses (Department for Planning and Infrastructure); to communicate with parents about children and active transport (Physical Activity Task Force); and to lobby local government authorities to create safe routes to school. In summary, the research will: (a) provide insights into the design of policy-related and environmental interventions aimed at increasing active transport by children and adolescents; (b) add to a limited body of knowledge on active transport in Australia; and will (c) provide information to our multi-sector partners that can be used to develop future interventions.

Funding Amount $AUD 375,814.51

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

Click to explore relationships graph
Viewed: [[ro.stat.viewed]]