- Promoting physical activity: The role of neighbourhood safety and renewal of deprived areas
- Award date
- 12 November 2014
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
Even though physical inactivity is known to be detrimental for health, many adults remain inactive. Physical inactivity is particularly prevalent in deprived areas. It remains unclear to what extent physical activity is related to neighbourhood characteristics like neighbourhood safety. Moreover, there is scarce evidence on whether and how physical activity in deprived areas can be promoted by area-based initiatives that aim to improve the living conditions in deprived areas.
The first objective of this thesis was to explore to what extent neighbourhood safety was associated with leisure-time physical activity among adults. The second objective of this thesis was to explore to what extent and how a Dutch area-based initiative called the District Approach was associated with changes in neighbourhood safety and leisure-time physical activity in 40 deprived target areas.
This thesis provides evidence to suggest that safe neighbourhoods may promote leisure-time cycling and sports among adults. Good neighbourhood safety may also promote leisure-time walking, but only in deprived areas. In deprived areas, area-based initiatives like the Dutch District Approach appear to be able to promote leisure-time physical activity among adults. More specifically, they seem to promote leisure-time walking by making parks and trails less frightening, more convenient, and more relaxing. These results emphasize the need for large-scale and multidisciplinary approaches to solve neighbourhood problems and hence stimulate leisure-time physical activity in deprived areas.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam