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Built environment and physical activity in Hong Kong pre-schoolers
- Presented on May 21, 2014
Purpose: Hong Kong children have been identified as one of the most inactive populations worldwide. Attributes of the neighbourhood environment are thought to be important modifiable factors for increasing pre-schoolers’ PA. Thus, the present study aims to identify neighbourhood environmental correlates of PA in Hong Kong pre-schoolers.
Methods: 116 Chinese-speaking parents/primary caregivers and their 3-5 year old pre-schooler were recruited from the Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHC) of the Department of Health, kindergartens and the community in Hong Kong. Recruitment sites were stratified by area socio-economic status and dwelling density. Parents/caregivers were asked to complete a set of questionnaires (including one on perceived neighbourhood environment) and an activity monitor log for their child. Pre-schoolers’ moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) was measured via accelerometers for a week. Participants that had ≥4 days of valid accelerometry data (including a weekend day) were included in the analyses.
Results: Several perceived neighbourhood environmental attributes were associated with MVPA in Hong Kong pre-schoolers. Signs of physical disorder, perceived stranger danger and perceived traffic hazards were negatively related with average daily minutes of MVPA. Perceived traffic safety, availability of outdoor places for play and neighbourhood informal social control were positively associated with daily minutes of MVPA. These effects were not gender specific.
Conclusions: Safety attributes of the neighbourhood environment and availability of outdoor places to play (perceived by parents) are important correlates of PA in Hong Kong pre-schoolers. Environmental interventions aimed at addressing these issues would likely result in increased levels of PA in Hong Kong pre-schoolers.
- Ester Cerin
ISBNPA 2014 Annual Conference