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An Investigation into Children’s Out-of-School Physical Activity

Noonan, R (2017) An Investigation into Children’s Out-of-School Physical Activity. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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This thesis used a multi-methods approach to explore children’s out-of-school physical activity (PA). Study 1 found that children living in the most deprived neighbourhoods represent an important target group for future PA and health interventions. Further, the study also revealed that self-reported PA was positively associated with independent mobility. Study 2 confirmed that the weekend was a period of low moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and revealed that raw PA levels derived from the wrist-worn GENEActiv are not comparable with hip-worn ActiGraph. Agreement between the devices differed according to PA intensity and time of day, with the greatest difference occurring in light PA (LPA) during school hours. Using children’s recounted perceptions and experiences of out-of-school PA, study 3 demonstrated how an inclusive, interactive and child-centred methodology (i.e., write, draw show and tell; WDST) may be advantageous when compared to traditional singular qualitative methods. In study 4 parental safety concerns were reported to be the most consistent barrier to children’s out-of-school PA. The family case studies demonstrated how family perceptions and constraints can influence children’s out-of-school PA levels and activity mode (i.e., active school travel, outdoor play and organised sport). Such constraints include factors such as, school proximity, neighbourhood perceptions and family context. Study 5 revealed substantial intra-individual variability in children’s weekend MVPA. PA diary data revealed that children's weekend PA was mostly unstructured in nature and undertaken with friends, whereas a greater proportion of parents’ weekend PA was undertaken alone in structured settings. Family case studies demonstrated that in the selected cases MVPA levels and variability across weekends were contingent on mode of PA participation. This thesis contributes evidence to inform future out-of-school PA interventions. The research has demonstrated that children’s out-of-school PA is influenced by a complex interaction of individual, social and environmental factors. Specific highlights include the family and neighbourhood environment. The weekend is associated with low PA and as such represents an important time period to promote PA in children. Future weekend PA interventions should target specific modes of activity, as the facilitators and barriers to these activities vary considerably. Moreover, in future, research and practice should focus on ways in which to modify neighbourhood attributes to support children’s out-of-school active living.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical activity; Children; Family
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 08:31
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 14:35
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00006581
Supervisors: Boddy, LM, Knowles, ZR and Fairclough, SJ
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6581
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