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A Place To Live, Learn, & Play: Increasing Childhood Physical Activity Through The Built Environment

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A Place To Live, Learn, & Play: Increasing Childhood Physical Activity Through The Built Environment
Lenchik, Jennifer
Jennifer K. Lenchik A PLACE TO LIVE, LEARN, & PLAY: INCREASING CHILDHOOD PHYSICAL ACTIVITY THROUGH THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT Thesis under the direction of Gary Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Health and Exercise Science. The built environment is where human activity occurs in relation to buildings, other structures, and infrastructure within a given community. There has been increasing research examining the association between built environment, physical activity, and childhood obesity. Currently, American children do not meet the daily recommendation of sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. This is due in part to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle among children brought upon by changes to the built environment beginning in the 1950s. These changes have created barriers to achieving adequate levels of physical activity on an individual and community level. Childhood obesity and overweight has been declared a world health crisis among developed nations. Without intervention the current generation of American children will develop unprecedented rates of chronic illness and premature death related to obesity. Economic burden due to lost wages and direct healthcare cost of managing obesity related diseases will continue to strain the healthcare system. This thesis paper will examine the role of neighborhoods, urban design, recreation centers, parks, and schools in increasing physical activity within the built environment. Creating safe common play areas like playgrounds and green spaces, better neighborhoods that encourage foot and bike transportation through sidewalks and mix land use, and schools that implement physical activity programs to teach a love of being active, will allow children to have an opportunity for increased physical activity regardless of their socioeconomic status. Through these changes in the built environment children can overcome current barriers to use resources close at hand to become more physically active and in turn grow into healthy active adults, helping to reverse the current obesity epidemic.
Built Environment
Childhood Physical Activity
Shively, Carol (committee chair)
Miller, Gary (committee member)
Nixon, Patricia (committee member)
2009-05-08T18:17:36Z (accessioned)
2010-06-18T18:58:37Z (accessioned)
2009-05-08T18:17:36Z (available)
2010-06-18T18:58:37Z (available)
2009-05-08T18:17:36Z (issued)
MALS (Liberal Studies) (discipline)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/14782 (uri)
en_US (iso)
Wake Forest University
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide. (accessRights)

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