Children's independent mobility and activity spaces during COVID-19 in Finland

Päivi Berg*, Tiina Rinne, Pirjo Hakala, Arto J. Pesola

*Tämän työn vastaava kirjoittaja

Tutkimustuotos: LehtiartikkeliArticleScientificvertaisarvioitu


Children's Independent Mobility (CIM) is usually higher in Nordic countries, although like in many other countries it is declining over time. COVID-19 has created new large-scale restrictions into the patterns of children's mobility. We explore children's and parents' perceptions of CIM during the pandemic. To better understand how to promote CIM, we use COVID-19 restrictions as a model to investigate how acute changes in play and sports are associated with the level of CIM and activity space. In this mixed-methods study, a total of 22 children (10-12-years-old) and their parents were interviewed, and a public-participatory GIS (PPGIS) questionnaire was completed by 427 children and 177 parents in two small cities in Southern Finland. CIM was measured as the independently traveled distance to and from all places visited during the previous week and as CIM licenses. Activity space was obtained by using a home range model. Based on the interviews, the most typically mentioned rules related to CIM were informing parents of destination and company, and curfews. COVID-19 mainly affected organized sports participation requiring a ride from parent but had little influence on CIM. According to questionnaire data, COVID-19 decreased organized sports in 23% of children but increased outdoor games and play in 17% of children. Increased play was associated with a greater CIM, while decreased sports was associated with a smaller activity space. The findings suggest that in comparison to organized sports, outdoor games and play should be promoted to support CIM.

DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaSähköinen julkaisu (e-pub) ennen painettua julkistusta - 3 syysk. 2022
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Julkaistu artikkeli, soviteltu


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