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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

How does place influence children’s physical activity? Evidence from the SPEEDY study Seminar

16:00 - 17:00
7 March 2012
Building 44 Room 2103

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Professor Graham Moon at .

Event details

Geography and Environment seminar

The environments many of us live in today are very different to those for which we are genetically adapted. Humans adjust readily to situations that promote sedentary behaviour, and cultures exist where being active is not a high priority and where there may be resistance to change. Modern urban environments are often not designed to encourage residents to be physically active. Indeed, the sedentary option is often the easiest one to take. If we are to reverse the current obesity trends, we will need to get the population more active. Reviews of the evidence on the effects of individual level interventions, such as the provision of gym membership to encourage people to be more active, indicate that while positive changes can be achieved, the effects are generally small and short term. Larger, more sustainable changes are more likely to be achieved by a multi-level strategy combining environmental and individual level interventions. Hence in recent years the research focus has moved from individuals to the environment. It is here that geography plays a role as it can help us understand how the contextual influences of the environments within which we live, work, and play may influence our physical activity behaviours. This talk will illustrate the important role of geographers in driving the research agenda using results from the SPEEDY (Sport, Physical Activity and Eating behaviour: Environmental Determinants in Young people) study, a cohort study investing the health behaviours of over 2000 children living in the county of Norfolk.

Speaker information

Andrew Jones, University of East Anglia. School of Environmental Sciences

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