Perceptions of the Built Environment and Active Travel in Children and Young People

Rose-Ann Gahan

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis

    Abstract

    Overview: Active transport is on the decline in children and young people. Research suggests that people‟s perceptions of the neighbourhood and built environment can affect this. The purpose of this study was to investigate children, young people and their parents opinions of barriers to walking and cycling, their freedom to travel independently, on foot or by bike and how their perceptions of their neighbourhood affected this. Methodology: This is a mixed methods study that uses questionnaires, environmental audit, interviews and workshop based group data collection. Data was collected from children and young people, male and female, aged between 8 and 18 years who are members of or attending Foroige Youth Groups and/or afterschool programmes in Waterford City and County and their parents and youth leaders. The youth groups were chosen from rural and urban areas of Waterford. Results: Overall the majority of participants reported that they walk and cycle to various locations. According to parents distance was a major barrier which, influenced their decision in allowing their child(ren) to walk or cycle alone. This study also shows that children and young people are aware of the physcial aspects, e,g, traffic calming measures that are around their neighbourhood. Conclusions: Increased distance to travel is associated with low levels of walking and cycling in children and young people. A decrease of speed limits especially around schools may help to promote more active transport. Children and young people should be consulted about the physical aspects of their neighbourhood that affect their active transport and physical activity levels, such as the location of pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Mullan, Elaine, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • Physical activity

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