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Physical activity and food environments in and around schools: a case study in regional North-West Tasmania


Jayasinghe, S and Flies, EJ and Soward, R and Kendal, D and Kilpatrick, M and Cleland, V and Roberts, R and Norzahari, F and Davern, M and Holloway, TP and Murray, S and Patterson, KAE and Ahuja, KDK and Hughes, R and Byrne, NM and Hills, AP, Physical activity and food environments in and around schools: a case study in regional North-West Tasmania, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, (10) Article 6238. ISSN 1660-4601 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijerph19106238


A better understanding of the physical activity (PA) infrastructure in schools, the walkability of neighborhoods close to schools, and the food environments around schools, particularly in rural, socioeconomically challenged areas such as the North-West (NW) of Tasmania, could be important in the wider effort to improve the health of school-age children. Accordingly, this research aimed to assess PA resources, walkability, and food environments in and around schools in three socioeconomically disadvantaged, regional/rural Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Tasmania, Australia. A census of schools (including assessment of the PA infrastructure quality within school grounds), a walkability assessment, and a census of food outlets surrounding schools (through geospatial mapping) were executed. Most of the schools in the study region had access to an oval, basketball/volleyball/netball court, and free-standing exercise equipment. In all instances (i.e., regardless of school type), the quality of the available infrastructure was substantially higher than the number of incivilities observed. Most schools also had good (i.e., within the first four deciles) walkability. Numerous food outlets were within the walking zones of all schools in the study region, with an abundance of food outlets that predominantly sold processed unhealthy food.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:childhood obesity, physical activity, food environment, spatial analysis, NW Tasmania, regional Australia, schools, walkability, physcal activity, food environment
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Community child health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Determinants of health
UTAS Author:Jayasinghe, S (Dr Sisitha Jayasinghe)
UTAS Author:Flies, EJ (Dr Emily Flies)
UTAS Author:Soward, R (Mr ROB Soward)
UTAS Author:Kendal, D (Dr Dave Kendal)
UTAS Author:Kilpatrick, M (Dr Michelle Kilpatrick)
UTAS Author:Cleland, V (Associate Professor Verity Cleland)
UTAS Author:Holloway, TP (Mr Timothy Holloway)
UTAS Author:Murray, S (Ms Sandra Murray)
UTAS Author:Patterson, KAE (Dr Kira Patterson)
UTAS Author:Ahuja, KDK (Dr Kiran Ahuja)
UTAS Author:Hughes, R (Mr Roger Hughes)
UTAS Author:Byrne, NM (Professor Nuala Byrne)
UTAS Author:Hills, AP (Professor Andrew Hills)
ID Code:150102
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2022-05-23
Last Modified:2022-12-09
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