Exploring children's perceptions of places for physical activity through photo-elicitation
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This study explored children's perceptions of places where they engage in physical activity as well as what facilitates and constrains that activity. Specific goals of this study are: (1) identify where children report they go for physical activity; (2) assess the roles of parks and outdoor environments for youth's physical activity, and (3) examine factors that influence youth's physical activity. Twenty-nine participants were recruited from two fifth grade classes from a local elementary school with a high proportion of low income families in Columbia, Missouri. Through photo-elicitation and follow-up individual interviews, five primary place themes emerged related to youth engage in physical activity: School, Home, Neighborhood, Other Recreational Sites and Parks/Natural Areas. Youth identified eight factors that may limit their participation to physical activity including intrapersonal (i.e., fears, being too young), interpersonal (i.e., no one to go with, parents not allowing), and structural (i.e., cost, time, distance/access, weather) constraints. Likes and dislikes for youth physical activity in parks and open space pertained to three primary aspects: nature, design, and social. Findings from this study provide insights for parks and recreation and public health professionals based on children's point of view.
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