Son yıllarda çocuklarda obezitenin önlenmesinde fiziksel aktivitenin önemi sıklıkla vurgulanmakta, haftada en az 3 gün ve günde en az 60 dakika orta-yüksek şiddette fiziksel aktivite (OYFA) yapmanın önemi hatırlatılmaktadır. Kentsel alanda çocukların aktif olabilecekleri mekânların tasarlanması hiç kuşkusuz çok önemlidir. Ancak fiziksel aktiviteyi teşvik edecek ve fiziksel aktivite düzeyini arttıracak mekânsal özelliklerin neler olduğu, mekân düzenleme disiplinlerince henüz tartışılmaktadır ve bulgular net değildir. Bu çalışmada, çocukların konut ve okul yakın çevresindeki farklı mekânlarda gerçekleştirdikleri OYFA oranları ve düzeyleri karşılaştırılmış, farklı mekanlarda gerçekleştirilen OYFA üzerinde bireysel, mekânsal ve sosyal özelliklerin etkisi irdelenmiştir. Yaşları 9–12 arasında değişen 47 çocuğun aktivite düzeyi ve aktivitesinin konumu, akselerometre ve Küresel Konumlandırma Sistemi aygıtları ile 7 gün boyunca izlenmiştir. Çocukların konut ve okul yakın çevresinde OYFA’da bulundukları kentsel mekânlar; açık alanlar, açık yeşil alanlar, sokaklar ve okul bahçesi gibi alt sınıflara ayrılmıştır. Sonuçlar çocukların toplam aktivite süresinin çoğunu konut yakın çevresindeki sokaklarda ve okul bahçesinde gerçekleştirdiğini, buna rağmen en yüksek aktivite ortalamasının açık yeşil alanlarda olduğunu göstermiştir. Aynı zamanda bulgular, çocukların aktivite için tercih ettikleri mekânların konut yakın çevresi dışında okul yakın çevresini de kapsayabileceğini göstermektedir. Çocukların OYFA için tercih ettiği mekanların, fiziksel (destinasyon yoğunluğu, mesafeler) ve sosyal çevre (ebeveynin çocuğunu fiziksel aktiviteye teşviki, ebeveynin genelde tercih ettiği ulaşım türeli) özellikleri ile çocuğun bireysel özelliklerinden (yaş, devlet ya da özel okulda eğitim alma, Beden Kitle İndeksi) etkilendiğine dair bulgularda elde edilmiştir. Bu çalışmada kullanılan özgün yöntem (çocukların aktivite düzeylerinin ve aktivite konumlarının izlenmesi) kentsel tasarım disiplini için önemlidir.
In recent years, the importance of physical activity for the prevention of child obesity has been emphasized. Children are recommended to participate in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at least 3 days per week. Without doubt, designing activity spaces for children in urban areas is a necessity. Spatial features that may encourage physical activity are still being discussed and numerous studies have produced unclear findings. This research is an examination of children’s activity (intensity and duration) around their home and school, including analysis of how personal, physical, and social environment characteristics influence where children choose to be active (increase in intensity and duration of activity). The activity of a total of 47 children who were between 9 and 12 years old was monitored via accelerometer and geographic positioning systems devices for 7 days. The frequency and intensity of activity in green areas, streets, and open spaces around the children’s home and school were analyzed and compared. The results indicated that children tended to be active on the streets near the home and the school yard more often, rather than in other settings (such as green areas or open spaces). However, the intensity of the activity was greater in green areas around the home. The results also indicated that the environment around a child’s school is as important as the area in close vicinity to the home (neighborhood) to increase children’s physical activity. Moreover, the findings also indicated that children choose MVPA locations based on physical (destination density, distances) and social environment characteristics (parent encouragement of physical activity, transportation mode that parents tend to use, attendance at a public or private school), as well as their individual characteristics (gender, body mass index). In addition to the findings, the study also makes an important contribution to the discipline of urban design with the original methodology used to determine the locations of children’s physical activity.
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