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Where do children walk (and what do they do when they get there)?

Mackett, RL; Gong, Y; Kitazawa, K; Paskins, J; (2006) Where do children walk (and what do they do when they get there)? In: (Proceedings) Walk21 Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 23-26 October 2006.

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Abstract

This paper contains findings from the project CAPABLE (Children’s Activities, Perceptions And Behaviour in the Local Environment) currently being carried out at University College London (UCL). In the project about 200 children aged from 8 to 11 have been fitted with activity monitors, GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) monitors and asked to complete a travel and activity diary for four days. The children and their parents have also completed questionnaires which cover issues such as whether the children are allowed out without an adult. From the diaries it is known what the children are doing and how they are travelling, and by whom they are accompanied. From the activity monitors, their activity levels in terms of calories consumed per minute, are found. The GPS monitors allow the location to be established. From these three sources it is possible to establish which sort of places children are most active in, adding to previous research into the relative levels of energy consumption in various activities such as walking, playing and sports. The paper presents some of the preliminary findings from the work. The main focus here is on walking, and covers issues such as the trip purposes associated with walking, the differences in walking trips when the child is accompanied by an adult compared with when he or she is not, and the level of intensity of walking under different circumstances. The paper is concluded with illustrations of the richness of the data from the combined tools of activity monitor, GPS monitor and diaries. Whilst the data are rather limited in quantity, they offer comprehensive information on a relatively small number of children. From this it should be possible to understand quite a lot about how children walk, and play and how they use the local environment. This should contribute to the design of environments that encourage children to walk and play more, and so lead happier and healthier lives.

Type:Proceedings paper
Title:Where do children walk (and what do they do when they get there)?
Event:Walk21 Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 23-26 October 2006
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Geography
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

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