Supporting Children to be Active: Identification of Objective and Perceived Neighbourhood Environmental Features Supportive of Physical Activity and Mental Wellbeing

Project status


In recent decades many developing countries, including Turkey, have seen an increased physical inactivity among children. This has important implications for child health conditions such as mental wellbeing, obesity and also air quality and traffic. While there is ample research highlighting the role of the built environment in encouraging increased physical activity levels among school children, there is limited evidence on children’s preferences and experiences regarding their place use and physical activity in their local neighbourhoods and implications for mental wellbeing. Adopting a child-centred approach, this project employs a mixed-method design, including participatory mapping, qualitative GIS, and space syntax modelling, to (1) Investigate the extent to which neighbourhood built environment is related to physical activity among 9-12-year-old children; and (2) Explore the extent to which children’s hysical activity levels are associated with their mental wellbeing. The findings may have significant implications for urban designers and policy makers.

Research team

Dr Ayse Ozbil Torun, Northumbria University; Professor Margaret Anne (Greta) Defeyter, Northumbria University; Dr Yucel Severcan, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

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