How far do children travel from their homes? Exploring children's activity spaces in their neighborhood

Health Place. 2012 Mar;18(2):263-73. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.09.019. Epub 2011 Oct 4.


This study explored children's activity spaces. In 2007, children aged 10-12 years (n=1480) completed a survey and mapping activity, and wore a pedometer for seven days. Their parents completed a survey (n=1314). Over half traveled <25% of their 'neighborhood', defined as 800 m and 1600 m network buffers. More local destinations (boys β=-0.022; girls β=-0.013) and parent report of living on a busy road (girls β=-0.43) were associated with smaller activity spaces whereas being independently mobile resulted in larger (girls β=0.28) ones. Traditionally defined neighborhoods may not reflect children's movements. Freedom, fewer local destinations and traffic safety may be important for increasing spatial ranges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Environment Design*
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recreation*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Walking / statistics & numerical data*
  • Western Australia