Children growing up today deserve the right to a healthy future. Unfortunately, in many countries, including Australia, this right is being compromised, especially among children growing up in cities. This is due to a constellation of changes in the urban environments of children over the past 20 years such as increased traffic on roads, increased air pollution, overcrowding in housing, children spending more time indoors during the day, less access to green spaces and parks, and high amounts of sedentary time spent using electronic media.

My proposed research program will understand how social, physical, and policy environments in low-, middle-, and high-income countries influence the health and development of young children. My program will test interventions and policies that promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour in children. My ultimate aim is for young children – wherever they may live – to be able to grow up with the opportunity to participate in appropriate levels of active play and sedentary behaviour.

My research program spans the behavioural epidemiology framework of physical activity and sedentary behaviour research among children aged 3-10 years. The program will use social ecological models to examine the relationships between different influences and factors on the prevalence of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour, testing interventions using settings-based approaches, and translating research findings and knowledge into national and international policies and practices.

Funding body

National Health and Medical Research Institute

Scheme name

Investigator Grant (Leadership 2)

Years funded

2019 – 2024

Lead institution

University of Wollongong

Project leaders