research

A Systematic Review on the Relationship between the Neighbourhood Built Environment and Time Spent in Outdoor Play


A recent study examined the relationship between attributes of the neighbourhood built environment and the time BC children and adolescents (0–18 years) spend in self-directed outdoor play. They found moderate evidence that lower traffic volumes, yard access, and increased neighbourhood greenness were positively associated with time spent in outdoor play for some age groups.

The benefits of outdoor play have also been recognized by pediatricians and public health professionals, who have stressed the importance of daily opportunities for outdoor play. Outdoor play has further been associated with motor, visual, and cognitive development, socio-emotional learning and mental health. Marginalized and low-income children often have lesser access to safe play spaces, as well as higher rates of illness and injury.