Environmental and school influences on physical activity in South Asian children from low socio-economic backgrounds: A qualitative study.

Abstract

South Asian (SA) children are less active but have enhanced metabolic risk factors. Physical activity (PA) is a modifiable risk factor for metabolic disease. Evidence suggests that environmental factors and socio-economic status influence PA behaviour. The purpose of this study was to understand PA environments, barriers and facilitators of PA in deprived environments for children from SA backgrounds. Focus groups were conducted with 5 groups of children aged 7-9 years (n = 33; male = 16, female = 17; SA = 17, White = 8 and Black = 8) from two schools in deprived wards of Coventry, England. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes and subthemes across all transcripts. From the results, emergent themes included school and home environment, outdoor activity, equipment, weather, parental constraints and safety. Ethnic differences were apparent for sources of beliefs and knowledge and religious practice as constraints for PA. The findings suggest that school provides a good foundation for PA attitude, knowledge and behaviour, especially for SA children. To increase PA, multi-component interventions are needed, which focus on changing the home environment (i.e. junk food and media time), encouraging outdoors activity, changing perceptions of safety and weather conditions, which provide parental constraints for children. Interventions also need to be considerate to religious practices that might constrain time.

DOI: 10.1177/1367493513508845

Cite this paper

@article{Eyre2015EnvironmentalAS, title={Environmental and school influences on physical activity in South Asian children from low socio-economic backgrounds: A qualitative study.}, author={Emma Lisa Jane Eyre and Michael J Duncan and Samantha Louise Birch and Val . M . Cox}, journal={Journal of child health care : for professionals working with children in the hospital and community}, year={2015}, volume={19 3}, pages={345-58} }