The NEighbourhood Activity in Youth (NEArbY) project aims to identify the features of a neighbourhood (around home and school) that influence an adolescent’s physical activity, sedentary behaviours, social engagement and eating habits.
Scope: Active Teen Trackers
With a combination of accelerometers, inclinometers and GPS trackers, Deakin's Professor Jo Salmon is monitoring one of the most active species on the planet: the human teenager!
Health and urban design
Many factors can impact a healthy lifestyle, some less obviously than others.
However, there's not a lot of available information that assesses the importance of streetscapes, sporting facilities, public open spaces or urban design in promoting and supporting a young person's physical activity. Similarly, there's little information on whether access to healthy (or unhealthy) food influences their eating habits.
The NEArbY project aims to fill those information gaps. The study involves over 450 adolescents across 19 secondary schools in Melbourne. The schools were located in a diverse range of neighbourhoods based on walkability and average income.
Students completed a comprehensive survey and were fitted with activity monitors for a week. Most students also opted to be fitted with a GPS for a week and/or fitted with a monitor that assesses sitting time for seven days.
The NEArbY study is relevant to the health, planning, transport and infrastructure sectors and uses innovative research techniques to inform urban design and policy that supports healthy, active lifestyles among adolescents.
The study will also contribute to wider international research across nine diverse countries, allowing researchers to see if Australia is unique or consistent with international trends of youth and physical activity.
A two-year follow-up of students involved in the original study will take place in 2016 and 2017.
NEighbourhood Activity in Youth (NEArbY) study
Professor Anna Timperio
Email Professor Timperio