Determinants of outdoor time in children and youth: a systematic review of longitudinal and intervention studies

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Larouche, Richard
Kleinfeld, Madeline
Rodriguez, Ulises Charles
Hatten, Cheryl
Hecker, Victoria J.
Scott, David R.
Brown, Leanna Marie
Onyeso, Ogochukwu K.
Sadia, Farzana
Shimamura, Hanako
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Spending more time outdoors can improve children’s social and cognitive development, physical activity, and vision. Our systematic review summarized the determinants of outdoor time (OT) based on the social-ecological model. We searched nine databases: MEDLINE, APA PsycINFO, Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, ERIC, SocINDEX, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. To be included, studies needed to be quantitative and longitudinal, include ≥1 potential determinant of OT among 0- to 17-year-olds, and be published in English, French, Japanese, or Spanish. We extracted the authors, publication year, country, design, sample size, OT measures, follow-up period, potential determinants, main results, and potential moderators or mediators. Fifty-five studies examining 119 potential determinants met the inclusion criteria. OT was consistently higher in warmer seasons and among participants reporting more OT at baseline. All three interventions that included both parent sessions and additional resources to promote OT (e.g., specific advice and community guides) were effective. COVID-19 restrictions and sun safety interventions discouraging midday outdoor activities led to less OT. The quality of evidence was rated as weak for 46 studies. Most potential determinants were examined in ≤3 studies; thus, more longitudinal studies are needed to enable stronger conclusions about the consistency of evidence and meta-analyses.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0) applies
Outdoor play , Outdoor activity , Physical activity , Nature , Adolescents , Socio-ecological model
Larouche, R. Kleinfeld, M., Rodriguez, U. C., Hatten, C., Hecker, V., Scott, D. R., Brown, L. M., Onyeso, O. K., Sadia, F., & Shimamura, H. (2023). Determinants of outdoor time in children and youth: A systematic review of longitudinal and intervention studies. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(2), 1328.