Availability of Physical Activity–Related Facilities and Neighborhood Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics: A National Study

Department of Economics and the Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois, Chicago 60608, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 10/2006; 96(9):1676-80. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.065573
Source: PubMed


We examined associations between neighborhood demographic characteristics and the availability of commercial physical activity-related outlets by zip code across the United States.
Multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the availability of 4 types of outlets: (1) physical fitness facilities, (2) membership sports and recreation clubs, (3) dance facilities, and (4) public golf courses. Commercial outlet data were linked by zip code to US Census Bureau population and socioeconomic data.
Results showed that commercial physical activity-related facilities were less likely to be present in lower-income neighborhoods and in neighborhoods with higher proportions of African American residents, residents with His-panic ethnicity, and residents of other racial minority backgrounds. In addition, these neighborhoods had fewer such facilities available.
Lack of availability of facilities that enable and promote physical activity may, in part, underpin the lower levels of activity observed among populations of low socioeconomic status and minority backgrounds.

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Available from: Sandy J Slater, Jun 10, 2014
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    • "Five-year (2005–2009) estimates for median household income and percent minority residents (defined as all non-White and Hispanic White residents) for all tracts were downloaded from the American Community Survey (ACS) website (American Community Survey [ACS], 2010). Once the weighted income and percent minority values were created for each park, these values were used to categorize each park neighborhood as low, medium, or high income and low, medium, or high percent minority by dividing the full set of parks into three even tertiles (Abercrombie et al., 2008; Estabrooks et al., 2003; Powell, Slater, Chaloupka, & Harper, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Parks are important resources for facilitating community health. Using an environmental justice framework, this study in Kansas City, Missouri examined disparities by income and race/ethnicity for bordering land uses, densities of incivilities (e.g., vandalism, litter), unhealthy retail establishments in neighborhoods surrounding parks. Low and medium income and high minority park neighborhoods were more likely to be surrounded by higher densities of incivilities and to have a moderate density of FF restaurants. Low-income park neighborhoods were five times more likely to have a moderate density of other unhealthy establishments compared to parks in high-income areas. Future research and environmental justice efforts should explore policies that reduce unhealthy characteristics of park neighborhoods to encourage increased usage of these important community settings.
    Journal of Leisure Research 01/2015; 47(2):285-303. · 0.51 Impact Factor
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    • "Increasing access to safe and accessible opportunities for PA is especially important for disadvantaged populations (Powell et al., 2006). Prior research has shown that families who live in low socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhoods and communities with a higher percentage of Black and/or Hispanic families are less likely to have access to recreation facilities and amenities (Powell et al., 2006) and less likely to be physically active (Babey et al., 2007). Concerns about environmental safety has also been identified as a barrier to PA in low SES neighborhoods (Wilson et al., 2004). "
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    Preventive Medicine 10/2014; 69. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.10.003 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "The state's obesity rates have doubled in the past 15 years and consistently rank among the highest in the country (Fahmy, 2011; Georgia Department of Public Health, 2011). Furthermore, only 46% of adults in Georgia are regularly active, and the percentage of regularly active individuals among Latinos (28%) and African Americans (38%) is even lower (Falb, Kanny, Thompson, Wu, & Powell, 2006; Georgia Department of Public Health, 2010). For all of these reasons, efforts to identify strategies that contribute to physical activity as a means to promote better public health within the state of Georgia are critically important. "
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    ABSTRACT: Parks provide many outdoor recreation opportunities that encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles, and research has recently begun to explore the demographic, social, and environmental factors associated with park-based activity levels, particularly outside of urban areas. This study used a mixed methods approach to investigate physical activity levels and correlates among demographically diverse state park visitors in Georgia. Data were collected during summer 2010 via onsite intercept surveys (n = 1,073) and structured observations of visitor behavior (n = 9,453 individuals observed). Analyses revealed substantial levels of activity during park visits and highlighted links between socially oriented recreation participation and park-based physical activity, particularly for Latinos and African Americans. Results could provide park managers with insightful information for promoting and sustaining park-based physical activity across diverse communities.
    Journal of Leisure Research 01/2014; 46(5):540-562. · 0.51 Impact Factor
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