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Children’s physical activity: the contribution of playing and walking


Mackett, Roger L. & Paskins, James (2008). Children's physical activity: the contribution of playing and walking. Children & Society, 22(5), 345-357.


This paper draws on research in which 200 children were fitted with motion sensors and asked to keep travel and activity diaries. The findings show that walking and playing away from home can contribute significantly to children's volume of physical activity, with consequent implications for their health. Not only do both playing and walking provide high levels of physical activity, they are linked to other behaviours which further augment the level of physical activity. Children who walk rather than use the car tend to be generally more active than other children, and children tend to be more active when they are out of their homes than when they are in them. The findings are placed in the context of other research about children's travel and physical activity, and conclusions drawn about the need to reverse current trends in children's patterns of travel and physical activity.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Children & Society


Mackett, Roger L.
Paskins, James