Are associations between the perceived home and neighbourhood environment and children's physical activity and sedentary behaviour moderated by urban/rural location?

Health Place. 2013 Nov;24:44-53. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.07.010. Epub 2013 Aug 13.


Associations between parental perceived home and neighbourhood environments and children's physical activity (PA), and sedentary time (ST) and screen time and moderating effects according to urban/rural location were examined. Data were collected (2007-2008) from a cohort of women (aged 18-45 years) and their children (5-12 years) participating in the Resilience for Eating and Activity Despite Inequality (READI) study. A total of 613 children (47% boys; mean age 9.4±2.2 years) and their mothers were included in the study. Urban children had higher screen time than rural children. Mothers in rural areas reported greater access to physical activity equipment in the home, higher levels of descriptive norms for physical activity, greater knowledge of the neighbourhood, a stronger social network, and higher personal safety than urban mothers. There were five significant interactions between the home and neighbourhood environment and PA/ST according to urban/rural location. Among urban children, the importance of doing PA together as a family was positively associated with ST. Interventions targeting PA and ST may need to target different factors according to urban/rural location.

Keywords: Accelerometer; Moderator; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviour; Urban/rural.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environment Design*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • New South Wales
  • Rural Population*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Urban Population*
  • Young Adult