From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

Children's Play and Physical Activity

Current recommendations for children to engage in 60 minutes of accumulated physical activity per day are not being met by many Scottish children.  These figures and their implications for children's health have led to concern about inadequate play provision.

We have explored socioeconomic variations in the provision, quality and public perceptions of outdoor play areas in Glasgow. We found more play areas in deprived areas (Ellaway et al. 2007) however a CSO funded PhD project completed by Chloe McAdam used a mixture of methods and found that the quality of play areas in deprived areas was generally poorer compared to less deprived areas. Children, parents, and maintenance staff responsible for play areas talked about vandalism, playground misuse, danger of injury or from strangers, underage alcohol consumption and youth misbehaviour as deterrents to using what otherwise might be health promoting facilities.



Kirk A, Ellaway A, Mutrie N, Macintyre S. Play for health: a pilot study investigating the distribution and features of publicly provided outdoor play areas in Glasgow. MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Working Paper no. 12, Glasgow, 2004


Ellaway A, Macintyre S. Play areas for children [gallery]. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2003;57ID - 2311:313

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