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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GUTIERREZ-ZORNOZA, Myriam et al. Perception of the environment for physical activity of schoolchildren in the province of Cuenca, Spain. Gac Sanit [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.1, pp.34-40. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the influence of perception of the environment in physical activity habits of schoolchildren (aged 9-11 years) in the province of Cuenca, Spain. Methods: Using a phenomenological perspective drawings were analyzed individual about their environment and places you normally would from a purposive sample of 32 students of 4 th and 5 th year of primary education. These same students participated in seven focus groups with a script aimed to obtain information on their perception of the environment and its influence on physical activity habits. Results: After analyzing four categories emerged: residence, urban configuration, displacements/commuting and sense of belonging or membership to the neighborhood. The students perceived that reside in gated communities or in rural areas facilitates physical activity of schoolchildren, while residing in neighborhoods and cities less accessible, feeling of insecurity traffic, make car journeys, and the sense of not belonging or membership to the neighborhood were perceived by children as barriers to being active. Conclusions: The perception of the environment influences physical activity habits of schoolchildren in the province of Cuenca. Changes in physical activity patterns of schoolchildren cannot take place without considering the context in which the individual exists, so specific strategies are needed that take into account the urban environment to promote physical activity of schoolchildren.

Keywords : Barriers; Build environment; Schoolchildren; Physical activity; Obesity; Qualitative methods.

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