Skip to main content

Table 1 Summary of characteristics and methods of measures to examine the association between children outdoor active behaviour and neighbourhood safety in the included studies

From: Children’s outdoor active mobility behaviour and neighbourhood safety: a systematic review in measurement methods and future research directions

# Study characteristics Studies’ measures Analysis method
Citation (by alphabetical order)/
year of data collection/
Sample Size n: sex/gender (M/F)
Age/grade (or mean age)
Country
study design
Safety
Questionnaire (perceived by)
measured (actual)
Active behaviour
tool/recall period/
The outcome measured Active Behaviour/ Neighbourhood Examined variables
Individual
Family
Neighbourhood
Spatial/
spatial statistical/
statistical analysis
1 [32]/-
n = 473 (250 M/160 F)
Aged 9–11 years old
United Kingdom
Cross Section
Children questionnaire
Self-reported (walking frequency + perception of the local environment + preferred travel method
From children questionnaire/
past 7 days
Walking frequency
(high walkers/low walkers)
Local area Sex/gender,
race/ethnicity (White, Minority ethnic group, Asian, Black, Chinese, Mixed, Other, Not specified), Family characteristics (car ownership, number of rooms in the house)
Statistical analysis
2 [33], From 2001–2005 longitudinal study/
n = 170 (51% M)
Aged 10–11 years
Australia
Cross Section (CLAN) from a longitudinal study
Parents questionnaire
Indices for (avoidance + defensive behaviour + perceived risk) and active transportation to 15 destination
Accelerometer/
8 consecutive days non-school hours before and after school weekdays and weekend
*MVPA Local area Sex/gender. age Statistical analysis
3 [34], T1 (April–July 2007)/
n = 1121(43%M)
T2 (April-July 2008) n = 491 (39%M)
Aged 9–10 years
United Kingdome
Longitudinal
Data from (SPEEDY)
project
Parents perception survey (social/physical environment and rules regarding their children physical activity and perception of traffic safety concerns Derived from children questionnaire on independent mobility Independent mobility to school Within 800 m pedestrian network buffer around the home (10 min walk) Sex/gender
Sociodemographic (cars ownership, parents’ education) + 
Environmental characteristics around the home and (within 100 m buffer of the shortest route to school
Spatial analysis to derive objectively environmental measures/
statistical analysis
4 [35]/-
n = 492 (Sex/gender not reported)/
Aged 9–11-year-old
United Kingdom
cross-section
From children (focussed group discussion) From children (focussed group discussion)/- Active Independent Mobility (AIM) Local area Sex/gender, age
5 [28]/ Sep.–Oct. 2009/
35 children (18 M/17F)/
Aged 10–11 years
Finland
cross-section
Parents questionnaire (children and parents mobility patterns + mobility licences, perceived safety) GPS, mobility travel diary + individual interview/
7 days
*active route to home Buffer 500-m from home Sex/gender
IM licence
Land use Types (using SLICES)
Spatial analysis
6 [36] /April2010 – May2011/
n = 736 (47% M and 52%F) included in the analysis/
Aged 10–12 years, grade 5–6
Canada
Cross-section
from [BEAT] project
Parents questionnaire (child outdoor active play + parents’ perception on the neighbourhood) Accelerometer/
7 days
*Outdoor playing time
MVPA
Neighbourhood Age, sex/gender, SES of the neighbourhood (neighbourhood income), neighbourhood perception (roads, personal safety, accessibility of facility) Statistical analysis
7 [37]/During April and May of 2010 and 2011
n = 143 (49 M/94F)
two groups aged 9–11 and
12–13 years/grade 5—8
Canada
From the (STEAM)
project
Parents questionnaire
Children questionnaire (child habitual neighbourhood activities + mobility behaviour + environmental perception
GPS/
7 days
Neighbourhood Activity Space
(NAS)
AS 400, 800 m of home, the second set those found within 1,600 m
Moore’s model
Sex/gender, age
Environmental perception from child and parents + Neighbourhood type (land use) + Parents IM licences
Spatial analysis/
statistical analysis
8 [38]/ Between 2011 and 2012/
n = 254 (100 M/133F) aged 8–13 years (mean age of 10.5) and 239 parents
New Zealand
Cross-section
From (KITC) project
Parents questionnaire (CATI) (Demographics + neighbourhood perception + safety + social cohesion + connection + parental concerns), children IM Travel Diary/
7 days
Independent Mobility (IM) The immediate street around the home Sex/gender, age, + older sibling
Parents demographics (sex ethnicity of (New Zealand European, Maori, Pacific Island, Samoan, Asian, Indian, Others), study or work outside the home, household (dwelling type, cars availability length of residency) + , IM + parents neighbourhood perception of safety + connect and cohesion,
Spatial analysis/
statistical analysis
9 [30] /-/
735 parents of children (364 M/371F)/ aged 7–9 years
in 9 schools returned the survey
Iran
Cross-Section
Parents questionnaire (mode of transport in the previous week, demographics, access to school service and public transportation, attitude towards waking Parents reported Perceived Walking Time to school (PWTS) in min Perceived Walking to school School to home area Sex/gender, household characteristics (father/mother driving licence, owned cars, father/mother occupation status) + perceived safety of walking to school + school travel mode, parental attitude, walking time to school Statistical analysis
10 [39]/2014/
n = 194 /
aged 9–10 years
-
United Kingdom
cross-sectional
Parents Survey used NEWS_Y Index to derive
perceived environment
Children self-reported PA using PAQ-C
Self-reported PA derived from a questionnaire Body Mass Index (BMI) /Self-reported PA High and low deprived areas Sex/gender, home environment (access to media in the bedroom, IM derived from parents’ questionnaires, Area level Deprivation*, perceived safety Statistical analysis
11 [40]/ study between 2015–2016/
n = 458 (230 M/228F)/
aged 10–12
Canada
Cross Section
Objective measures of Pedestrian safety
Parents survey for perceived pedestrian safety
Accelerometer and GPS in the watch
7 days
And activity log
Average of minutes per day of active outdoor play 1 km buffer zone around participants home Sex/gender
Race/ethnicity (white, non-white)
Family characteristics: (single or dual parents’ household, number of siblings, household income, parental education, parents’ value of outdoor and income
Pedestrian safety (traffic volume, traffic speed, traffic calming and pedestrian infrastructure
Spatial analysis/Statistical analysis
12 [41]/ Between 2011 and 2012/
n = 236 (104 M/132) for weekday analyses, and 210 (91 M/119F) for weekend days analyses. Age mean 9.8 for this study from 9 schools, grade 5–8
New Zealand
Cross-section
from (KITC) project
CATI-Parents questionnaire on neighbourhood perception using items from Ranui Action Survey + measured road network Accelerometer + GPS
 + Travel diary/
7 days outside school hours
*%MVPA Buffer 1000-m around participants home address Sex/gender, age, race/ethnicity, (New Zealand European, Maori, Pacific Island, Indian/Asian/Other Ethnicity)
SES (car availability for pick up) + neighbourhood exposures (measured GIS street connectivity, distance to school, destination accessibility, Ratio of High-speed roads around school + streetscape audit)
Spatial Analysis/
Statistical Analysis
13 [42]/ -
n = 830 parents of 4th grade (412 M/418F)
United States
Cross-section from
[T-COPPE] longitudinal project
Parents questionnaire adapted from several surveys including the National Centre for Safe Routes to School Parents Survey, SPAN, (UH-PEAK), NEWS, and EnVivo)
Personal safety + 
Traffic Safety
From parents’ questionnaire
Inclusion criteria were that participants are within walking distance between home to school)
GIS used to geocode participants address
Walking to school derived from National Safe Route To School Survey Within walking distance of 3.2 km (using GIS and geocoded students’ home address SES (car ownership, public assistance)
race/ethnicity)
Spatial analysis to derive the area of exposures/ statistical analyses
14 [43]/ Between 2006 and 2008/
n = 1307 (639 M/661F)/
10–11 years old from 23 schools
United Kingdom
cross-section from (PEACH) longitudinal study
Children questionnaire (computerised) perception of the environment (aesthetic, nuisance, safety including traffic of places to cross, heavy traffic and road, social norm, constraints) From the questionnaire Frequency in participation in active play, active travel and structured exercise and sport Frequency of outdoor play, exercise and sport, active commuting
Local-IM
Area -IM
Not reported Sex/gender, age, race/ethnicity (white, non-white, but not accounted in analysis)
Perception of (Aesthetics, Safety, Social Norms, Nuisance, Constraints, accessibility, minutes of daylight from 3 pm till sunset), level of deprivation (using Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and derived from seven categories of deprivation, Daylight, Pubertal status, BMI
Statistical analysis
15 [44]/Sep.-Dec.2014/
n = 144(72 M,72F)/
aged 7–12 years (mean age of 9.7 children)
United States
cross section
Parents questionnaire
(perception of the environment)
From the parents’ questionnaire Active play Walking distance 10–15 min Sex/gender, age, race/ethnicity (Hispanic/Latino, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, White)
Parents perception of built environment features
Family SES
Statistical analysis
16 [45]/Between 2007–2009/
n = 145 (71 M/74F) /
6–11-years-old
United States
Cohort cross-section study
From (NIK) study
Parents questionnaire (demographics + prior victimization perception + stranger danger + crime perception)
 + Police reported crimes geocoded near participants home
Accelerometer/
7 days
MVPA Census blocks Sex/gender, age, race,
Household income, neighbourhood environmental walkability scale, collective efficacy, Prior crime victimisation survey, stranger danger and crime perception
Spatial analysis
statistical analysis
17 [46]/ 2010/2011/
n = 354 (156 M) of grade 6th,
and their parents
Portugal
cross-section from [SALTA] longitudinal study
Parents questionnaire (parental physical activity, family demographic, and perception (adapted from NEWS and previous studies)
Children questionnaire to derive mobility style
Derived from a questionnaire of previous week physical activity based on IPAQ Independent mobility (IM) Local destinations Sex/gender, age, family demography (parents age, education), parental PA, parents’ perception of neighbourhood safety (sidewalk, street safety, fear from strangers, crime and traffic safety) Statistical analysis
18 [31]/the year 2009/
Grade 3 – 5/-
Iran
Cross-section
Parents survey + 
Children survey on the perception of environmental factors that prevent children from walking to school
From the parents’ survey Differed the trips from home to school and from school to home Walking to school Home-school Sociodemographic Statistical analysis
19 [15]/-
n = 190 (49%F) from two public schools/
aged 6–9(10) years old
Austria
Cross-section
Parents questionnaire (demographic and household + parents mobility licences + mobility habits
Child interview (understand IM motivation and licences)
From semi-structured questionnaire + Travel Diary (using KONTIV-format) Active Independent Mobility (AIM) Neighbourhood Age, family background (working status of parents, vehicles per household, Parental attitude (promoters, pragmatists protectors) + IM licence Statistical analysis
20 [29]/ Baseline collected in 2012 with three years follow up
T1 n = 2108/50.5%F/
aged 5–11 years
United States
Longitudinal study
Measured Crime
Risk Index (CRI) from for each zip code from actual crime statistic
Height and weight assessed at baseline 2012 and three years later Body Mass Index (BMI) Urban Zipcode Sex/gender, age, race/ethnicity (White, Asian, African American, Hispanic), demography (median household income and education) + Crime Risk Index, 2 Consumer Expenditure Data, the density of food outlet (using walk score and places for PA Statistical analysis
21 [47]/-/
n = 291 (150 M/141F)/ aged 5–6 and n = 919 (424 M/495F) aged 10–12 from 19 primary schools
Australia
cross-sectional
Parents & children questionnaire
parents’ questionnaire (children’s walking and cycling and Perceived safety) compared to
Children (perception of safety)
Walking and cycling trips from parents’ questionnaire Frequent Walking and Cycling Walking distance Sex/gender
Family background (language, SES, marital status, education, cars’ ownerships, own a dog
Perception of parents (traffic, safety, pub. Trans)
Perception of children (neighbourhood and view of parents)
Statistical analysis
22 [48]/ Fall of 2018/
n = 660 (315 M/341F)
and their parents
grade 5–8 of age 7 – 12 (mean age 9.5)
The Netherland
Cross-section
Parents survey for safety perception Derived from children survey (at school) Travel mode to school Participants were of Home-school
Within 1 km distance
Sex/gender, age,
Household (income, car ownership), weather, street connectivity
Statistical analysis
23 [49]/July – December 2007
n = 926 (463 M,463F) included in the analysis/
aged 10–12 years
Australia
cross-section
Data from (TREK) project
Parents questionnaire & children questionnaire
Parents completed self-administered questions
steps count using Pedometer/7 days Activity space
IM index computed using children questionnaires
within 800 and 1600 m of child's home Sex/gender, age,
SES level of the school neighbourhood (Low, medium, high), maternal Education, IM index derived from parents and child questionnaires
Parents and Child perception of safety, school-specific walkability (high/low), digitise pedestrian network
Spatial analysis/statistical analysis
24 [50]/between Jan. 2015 and Dec.2016/
n = 387(185 M/182F)/
aged 10–13 years (mean age 11.5)
Canada
Longitudinal from
Data from (Active Play Study)
Measured crime
Report Against a person & Property
For 24 months before measures
GPS/7 days Average minutes per day of active transportation Crime in 1 km road network buffer distance around participants home to define a neighbourhood Sex/gender, age, race/ethnicity (White)
parental education, family income and family profile, season, walkability index (using streets connectivity from the length of roads, intersection density, average block length, connected node ratio), proximity to destinations (walk score, distance to school, population density) and pedestrian safety from traffic
Spatial analysis/statistical analysis
25 [51]/-
Children from 73 elementary school/-
United States
Cross-section
Measured Crime
Use geocoded Crime rate (8 major crimes index against the person + Traffic danger (crash rate)) to indicate Neighbourhood Safety Level
GIS derived Neighbourhood walkability Level from (estimate potential walkers, pedestrian facilities, residential density, land use mix, street connectivity) Neighbourhood Walkability level (identify potential walkers) School attendance areas Race/ethnicity (Hispanic, Non-Hispanic, White)
Poverty
Derived—street walkability index, traffic danger, Neighbourhood-level walkability
*Potential walkers (to school)
Spatial analysis/
spatial statistical analysis
  1. M males, F Female, (-) data not reported, BMI Body Mass Index, GPS Global Positioning System, NAS Neighbourhood Activity Space, CLAN Children Living in Active Neighbourhoods, SES Socioeconomic status, MVPA Medium-to vigorous Physical Activity, SPEEDY Sport, Physical activity and Easting Behaviour Environmental Determinants in Young People, BEAT Built Environment and Active Transport, GPS Global Positioning System, STEAM Spatio-Temporal Exposure and Activity Monitoring, KITC kids in the City, PAQ-C Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children, NIK Neighbourhood Impact on Kids, CRI Crime Risk Index (measured crime using actual crime statistics), TREK Travel Environment and Kids Project, CATI Computer-aided Telephone Interview, KIC Kinds in the City, T-COPPE survey Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Education project, IMD Index of Multiple Deprivation is a composite score based on seven categories of deprivation (income, employment, health and disability, education skills and training, housing and geographical access to service), PEACH Personal and Environmental Association With Child’s Health, SPAN School Physical Activity and Nutrition, UH-PEAK Urban Hispanic Perceptions of Environment and Activity Among Kids, En Vivo TV reduction intervention study, NEWS Neighbourhood Environment Walkability Scale, NEWS-Y Neighbourhood Environment Walkability Scale for Youth used to assess parental perceptions of neighbourhood design, SALTA Environmental Support for Leisure and Active Transport, KONTIV format of travel diary survey for non-home activity patterns, GIS geographic information systems, IPAQ questionnaire International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Local-IM destinations of best friend’s house, school, local shops and park or playground, Area-IM destinations of swimming pool, library, cinema, arcade, bus stop, sports and shopping centre, SWI School Walkability Index derived from network connectivity and traffic volume, Neighbourhood-level walkability index derived from an (estimate of potential walkers, pedestrian facilities, residential density, street connectivity, land use mix), Neighbourhood-level safety derived from (traffic danger and the crime rate in a year), TREK Travel Environment and Kids
  2. Studies denoted with * = Study measures and analysis accounted for day type (weekend/weekdays and outside school i.e. before and after school hours)