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Factors related with public open space use among adolescents : a study using GPS and accelerometers

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Abstract
Background: Low physical activity levels and high levels of sedentary time among adolescents call for population wide interventions. Public open spaces can be important locations for adolescents' physical activity. This study aimed to describe the prevalence, frequency and context of public open space visitation and to gain insight into the individual, social and physical environmental factors associated with public open space use among 12- to 16-year-old Flemish (Belgian) adolescents. Methods: Global positioning system devices, accelerometers and one-on-one interviews were used to measure location-specific activity levels, time spent at, reasons for using and accompaniment at public open spaces among 173 adolescents. Multilevel hurdle and gamma models were used to estimate the associations between the independent variables (age, gender, ethnicity, education, sport club membership and accompaniment) and the amount of time, sedentary time, light-, moderate-to vigorous-and vigorous-intensity physical activity at public open spaces. Results: Three out of four participants had visited a public open space (for recreational purposes) and participants were most often accompanied by friends/classmates. Mainly public transportation stops/stations were used, and subsequently the most reported reason for public open space use was "to wait for something or someone". Furthermore, boys, younger adolescents, non-western-European adolescents and lower educated adolescents were more likely to use public open spaces. Additionally, boys and younger adolescents were more likely to accumulate physical activity at public open spaces. The only social environmental variable associated with time spent at public open spaces was accompaniment by siblings: adolescents spent more time at public open spaces when accompanied by their siblings. Conclusions: Public open spaces may be effective areas to promote physical activity among groups at risk for physical inactivity (i.e. low educated and non-western-European adolescents). Additionally, girls and older adolescents were less likely to visit and be physically active at public open spaces. Therefore, urban planners should consider adding attractive features, in order to encourage physical activity among girls and older adolescents at public open spaces. Furthermore, creating public open spaces that are attractive for youth of all ages could contribute to adolescents visiting public open spaces accompanied by siblings.
Keywords
Global positioning device, Physical activity, Sedentary time, Youth, Leisure time, Public spaces, PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY, SOCIOECONOMIC-STATUS, SEDENTARY BEHAVIOR, BUILT ENVIRONMENT, ACTIVE-TRANSPORT, YOUTH, PARKS, CHILDREN, HEALTH, TIME

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Chicago
Van Hecke, Linde, Hannah Verhoeven, Peter Clarys, Delfien Van Dyck, Nico Van de Weghe, Tim Baert, Benedicte Deforche, and Jelle Van Cauwenberg. 2018. “Factors Related with Public Open Space Use Among Adolescents : a Study Using GPS and Accelerometers.” International Journal of Health Geographics 17.
APA
Van Hecke, Linde, Verhoeven, H., Clarys, P., Van Dyck, D., Van de Weghe, N., Baert, T., Deforche, B., et al. (2018). Factors related with public open space use among adolescents : a study using GPS and accelerometers. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH GEOGRAPHICS, 17.
Vancouver
1.
Van Hecke L, Verhoeven H, Clarys P, Van Dyck D, Van de Weghe N, Baert T, et al. Factors related with public open space use among adolescents : a study using GPS and accelerometers. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH GEOGRAPHICS. 2018;17.
MLA
Van Hecke, Linde, Hannah Verhoeven, Peter Clarys, et al. “Factors Related with Public Open Space Use Among Adolescents : a Study Using GPS and Accelerometers.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH GEOGRAPHICS 17 (2018): n. pag. Print.
@article{8549185,
  abstract     = {Background: Low physical activity levels and high levels of sedentary time among adolescents call for population wide interventions. Public open spaces can be important locations for adolescents' physical activity. This study aimed to describe the prevalence, frequency and context of public open space visitation and to gain insight into the individual, social and physical environmental factors associated with public open space use among 12- to 16-year-old Flemish (Belgian) adolescents. 
Methods: Global positioning system devices, accelerometers and one-on-one interviews were used to measure location-specific activity levels, time spent at, reasons for using and accompaniment at public open spaces among 173 adolescents. Multilevel hurdle and gamma models were used to estimate the associations between the independent variables (age, gender, ethnicity, education, sport club membership and accompaniment) and the amount of time, sedentary time, light-, moderate-to vigorous-and vigorous-intensity physical activity at public open spaces. 
Results: Three out of four participants had visited a public open space (for recreational purposes) and participants were most often accompanied by friends/classmates. Mainly public transportation stops/stations were used, and subsequently the most reported reason for public open space use was {\textacutedbl}to wait for something or someone{\textacutedbl}. Furthermore, boys, younger adolescents, non-western-European adolescents and lower educated adolescents were more likely to use public open spaces. Additionally, boys and younger adolescents were more likely to accumulate physical activity at public open spaces. The only social environmental variable associated with time spent at public open spaces was accompaniment by siblings: adolescents spent more time at public open spaces when accompanied by their siblings. 
Conclusions: Public open spaces may be effective areas to promote physical activity among groups at risk for physical inactivity (i.e. low educated and non-western-European adolescents). Additionally, girls and older adolescents were less likely to visit and be physically active at public open spaces. Therefore, urban planners should consider adding attractive features, in order to encourage physical activity among girls and older adolescents at public open spaces. Furthermore, creating public open spaces that are attractive for youth of all ages could contribute to adolescents visiting public open spaces accompanied by siblings.},
  articleno    = {3},
  author       = {Van Hecke, Linde and Verhoeven, Hannah and Clarys, Peter and Van Dyck, Delfien and Van de Weghe, Nico and Baert, Tim and Deforche, Benedicte and Van Cauwenberg, Jelle},
  issn         = {1476-072X},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH GEOGRAPHICS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {16},
  title        = {Factors related with public open space use among adolescents : a study using GPS and accelerometers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12942-018-0123-2},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2018},
}

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