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Y Gymuned a'r Amgylchedd Adeiledig


Built environments, and well-functioning local communities (the spaces where young people live, go to school and play, have been cited as important facilitators of physical activity. The Community and the Environment indicator refers to perceived safety, access, and availability of facilities and spaces that provide opportunities for physical activity in children and young people. Research using objective measures of physical activity via accelerometry has shown the number of park spaces, multi- use pathways (e.g., pavements for walking and cycling) and gyms in local neighbourhoods positively influences physical activity levels. However, there are no specific recommendations.

  1. % of children or parents who perceive their community/municipality is doing a good job at promoting physical activity (e.g., variety, location, cost, quality) = C-
  2. % of children or parents who report having facilities, programs, parks, and playgrounds available to them in their community = C
  3. % of children or parents who report living in a safe neighbourhood where they can be physically active = C+
Y data o arolygon
  1. The National Survey for Wales (2018/2019), secondary school children (n= 950) and parents of primary school children (n = 1,450)
  2. The Play Satisfaction Survey (2018/2019), children aged 4–18-years (n= 5,111)
  3. The HAPPEN survey (2018-2020), children aged 8 to 11 years (n=1,329)

The National Survey for Wales asked about dissatisfaction/satisfaction of places to play outdoors (21% were very Satisfied), how satisfied, or dissatisfied participants were with clubs or activities in the local area (23% were very satisfied), how satisfied or dissatisfied participants were with places to meet and get together (21% were very satisfied), whether local green space is suitable for children and young people (48% strongly agreed). The questions were reliant on subjective self-report of perceptions of the local areas in Wales and were adult-led. There was no available data by age, gender, or deprivation.

During the 2019 play sufficiency assessment process, Play Wales asked all 22 local authorities to share their survey data. Play Wales received data from 18 local authorities, but when data were examined, 13 had provided information in a format required to support the development of a consistent data set. Additionally, because the sample is opportunistic (respondents were not chosen but chose to participate) the proportion of children and teenagers responding in each local authority varied widely. It was not feasible to assess the participants ages. In total, 5,884 responses from children were included in a final dataset.

The ‘What Children Say About Play In Wales’ reported on what type of places children could hang out in (72% reported playing out), if children could play in all the places they wanted to (24% reported they could play in them all), how good the places they play were (42% said they were great), do they feel safe when playing (45% reported always feeling safe) and, how do children get to play (52% reported travelling with an adult by car). There was no available data by age, gender, or deprivation.

The HAPPEN Survey is a health and wellbeing survey completed by 8 – 11-year-olds across Wales in primary schools. The survey includes measures of health behaviours such as physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep, diet and dental health and wellbeing. This data included 7521 responses. The survey asked about active travel to school (39% reported active travel), active travel from school (41% reported active travel), how safe children feel in their areas (67%), if they could walk to school (68% reported that they could), if they could walk to a park (82% reported that they could), if they could walk to a facility (34% reported that they could) and, how happy children were with their local areas (88% reported that they were happy). Overall, girls reported slightly lower percentages and those who were more deprived reported higher instances of active travel and walking but reported feeling less safe in their areas. The HAPPEN Survey relies on self-report from children.

The group decided on an overall grade of a C for the community and built environment indicator for 2021. However, the group wants to note that this is based on data from three of the six recommended benchmarks, which has been deemed sufficient by the AHKGA but further highlights significant gaps in research and knowledge.

Additional data sources have been made available since 2018 and it is apparent that the evidence-base is growing in this area, it is still reliant on self-report data from both children and adults. There are still no objective measures available for this indicator. As with the 2018 AHK Report Card, further data collection, research, and interventions are needed to reduce the barriers towards physical activity and play in communities. To date, data has relied on self-report and there is little consistency between local authorities’ objective data capture therefore it is difficult to assume a picture of Wales as a whole.

Improvements in perceived safety, access, and facilities may produce reductions in sedentary time and improvements in physical activity, outdoor and active play. The role of local communities in this respect has been highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic (SARS-CoV-2), which saw many people’s interest in their local community heightened. For young people, who typically spend a large proportion of their time within their communities (including the physical environment where young people live, go to school and play), the ability to be active in their local area is particularly important for developing and living healthily and well. Therefore, it is important we prioritise built environments and local communities are prioritised when promoting active, healthy lifestyles.