Mothers’ perceived proximity to green space is associated with TV viewing time in children: The Growing Up in Scotland study.


Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate whether mothers’ perception of distance from home to green/open spaces is associated with their child’s screen time. Method: We used mother-reported data from sweep six (2010-2011) of the Growing Up in Scotland study (n = 3586 children aged 5.9 yrs) to examine associations between walking distance from home to green/open space and screen time (TV viewing time/computer use). Analyses were adjusted for age, sex and other pre-specified covariates, including sport/exercise participation, mental and general health, birth weight, parental socio-economic group (SEG) and smoking status. Results: Children living the furthest distance from green/open spaces (>20 minutes’ walking distance) displayed over 2 h (95% CI, 0.65 to 3.51) more weekly TV time than the reference category (<5 minutes' walking distance). Compared to children in the reference category, those in the >20 minute category had worse mental health (mean SDQ [Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire] score +/- SD, 7.0 +/- 4.6 vs. 8.7+/-6.2) and general health (% fair-poor, 4.6 vs. 8.6), and were more likely to come from lower SEG households. Conclusion: Mothers’ perceived distance from home to green/open spaces was associated with child’s TV time at age 5.9 years.