Why children in some parts of Oslo get more exercise than others

Children who live in the eastern part of Oslo are far more likely to be physically inactive, compared to children in the west of the city, according to data from Statistics Norway (SSB).

Why children in some parts of Oslo get more exercise than others
Photo by Tord Sollie on Unsplash

While only 1 percent of children living in the outer area on the western area of Oslo are inactive, the number is 7 percent for children living in the outer area of the eastern area, newly published data from SSB shows.

And while only 16 percent of children in the outer area to the east are active every day, the number is 26 percent for children in the west.

The statistics bureau highlights parents’ income and education levels as important explanatory factors. Higher levels of income and education correlates strongly with higher levels of physical activity.

SSB points out that children in the same income tier tend to get the same amount of physical activity, regardless of where in the city they live.

Overall, 85 percent of children are physically active every week. Short hikes, swimming and biking are the most popular activities for children in the capital. Gardens, playgrounds and other communal areas for sports and play are also used a lot. Children in the central parts of Oslo tend to use parks more often than children in the outer parts of the city, who spend more time in the forest.

“These differences in the use of parks and the forest illustrates the importance of accessible nature areas,” writes SSB. “Children in the centre are likely the most active users of parks because they have a longer distance to travel to the forest and fields compared to children who live in the outer areas of the city.”

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