Greenspace and children's physical activity: a GPS/GIS analysis of the PEACH project

Prev Med. 2010 Aug;51(2):148-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.06.001. Epub 2010 Jun 9.


Objective: To quantify the volume and intensity of children's physical activity after school in greenspace and elsewhere.

Methods: Data were collected between 2006 and 2008 from 1,307 children aged 10-11 in Bristol, UK. Accelerometers and Global Positioning System receivers measured activity and location every 10 s (epoch) after school for four days. Data were mapped in a Geographic Information System with a greenspace dataset. Activity volume (accelerometer counts per minute), time in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and the odds of an epoch being MVPA (using logistic regression) were compared for greenspace, non-greenspace and indoors.

Results: 13% of monitored time was spent outdoors (2% in greenspace), during which time 30% of activity volume and 35% of MVPA was accumulated. 7% of boys' activity volume and 9% of MVPA were in greenspace with girls slightly lower (5% and 6% respectively). The odds of an epoch being MVPA in greenspace relative to outdoor non-greenspace was 1.37 (95% CI 1.22-1.53) for boys and 1.08 (95% CI 0.95-1.22) for girls.

Conclusion: Most activity occurring outdoors is not in greenspace and non-green urban environments are therefore very important for children's activity. However, when boys are in greenspace, activity is more likely to be of higher intensity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Environment Design*
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Motor Activity*
  • Regression Analysis
  • United Kingdom