Neighborhood for Playing: Using GPS, GIS, and Accelerometry to Delineate Areas within which Youth are Physically Active


Despite the documented importance of the neighbourhood environment on youth physical activity, little empirical research exists regarding the geographical boundaries of neighbourhoods within which youth are physically active around their homes. Studies and public policies often arbitrarily assume the extent of these boundaries, which vary from study to study. This paper combines GPS data, diaries and accelerometry to delineate empirically the local area and distance within which youth play in Erie County, New York. The study found that youth tend to be physically active within a quarter-mile radius around their homes and to focus on one section of the often assumed circled neighbourhood.