[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To reverse the global epidemic of physical inactivity that is responsible for more than 5 million deaths per year, many groups recommend creating "activity-friendly environments."Such environments may have other benefits, beyond facilitating physical activity, but these potential co-benefits have not been well described. The purpose of the present paper is to explore a wide range of literature and conduct an initial summary of evidence on co-benefits of activity-friendly environments. An extensive but non- systematic review of scientific and "gray" literature was conducted. Five physical activity settings were defined: parks/open space/trails, urban design, transportation, schools, and workplaces/buildings. Several evidence-based activity-friendly features were identified for each setting. Six potential outcomes/co-benefits were searched: physical health, mental health, social benefits, safety/injury prevention, environmental sustainability, and economics. A total of 418 higher-quality findings were summarized. The overall summary indicated 22 of 30 setting by outcome combinations showed "strong" evidence of co-benefits. Each setting had strong evidence of at least three co-benefits, with only one occurrence of a net negative effect. All settings showed the potential to contribute to environmental sustainability and economic benefits. Specific environmental features with the strongest evidence of multiple co-benefits were park proximity, mixed land use, trees/greenery, accessibility and street connectivity, building design, and workplace physical activity policies/programs. The exploration revealed substantial evidence that designing community environments that make physical activity attractive and convenient is likely to produce additional important benefits. The extent of the evidence justifies systematic reviews and additional research to fill gaps.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12/2015; 12(1):188. DOI:10.1186/s12966-015-0188-2 · 3.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Diverse combinations of built environment (BE) features for physical activity (PA) are understudied. This study explored whether patterns of GIS-derived BE features explained objective and self-reported PA, sedentary behavior, and BMI.
Methods: Neighborhood Quality of Life Study participants (N1⁄42,199, aged 20–65 years, 48.2% female, 26% ethnic minority) were sampled in 2001–2005 from Seattle / King County WA and Baltimore MD / Washington DC regions. Their addresses were geocoded to compute net residential density, land use mix, retail floor area ratio, intersection density, public transit, and public park and private recreation facility densities using a 1-km network buffer. Latent profile analyses (LPAs) were estimated from these variables. Multilevel regression models compared profiles on accelerometer- measured moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) and self-reported PA, adjusting for covariates and clustering. Analyses were conducted in 2013–2014.
Results: Seattle region LPAs yielded four profiles, including low walkability/transit/recreation (L-L-L); mean walkability/transit/recreation (M-M-M); moderately high walkability/transit/ recreation (MH-MH-MH); and high walkability/transit/recreation (H-HH). All measures were higher in the HHH than the LLL profile (difference of 17.1 minutes/day for MVPA, 146.5 minutes/week for walking for transportation, 58.2 minutes/week for leisure-time PA, and 2.2 BMI points; all po0.05). Baltimore region LPAs yielded four profiles, including L-L-L; M-M-M; high land use mix, transit, and recreation (HLU-HT-HRA); and high intersection density, high retail floor area ratio (HID-HRFAR). HLU-HT-HRA and L-L-L differed by 12.3 MVPA minutes/day; HID-HRFAR and L-L-L differed by 157.4 minutes/week for walking for trans- portation (all ps<0.05).
Conclusions: Patterns of environmental features explain greater differences in adults’ PA than the four-component walkability index.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.amepre.2015.05.024 · 4.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prevalence of walking and cycling for transport is low, varying greatly across countries. Few studies have examined neighborhood perceptions related to walking and cycling for transport in different countries. Therefore it is challenging to prioritize appropriate built environment interventions. The aim of this study was to examine the strength and shape of the relationship between adults' neighborhood perceptions and walking and cycling for transport across diverse environments.
As part of the International Physical activity and Environment Network (IPEN) adult project, self-report data were taken from 13,745 adults (18 - 65 years) living in physically and socially diverse neighborhoods in 17 cities across 12 countries. Neighborhood perceptions were measured using the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale, and walking and cycling for transport were measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire - Long Form. Generalized additive mixed models were used to model walking or cycling for transport during the last seven days with neighborhood perceptions. Interactions by city were explored.
Walking for transport outcomes were significantly associated with perceived residential density, land use mix access, street connectivity, aesthetics, and safety. Any cycling for transport was significantly related to perceived land use mix access, street connectivity, infrastructure, aesthetics, safety, and perceived distance to destinations. Between-city differences existed for some attributes in relation to walking or cycling for transport.
Many perceived environmental attributes supported both cycling and walking; however highly walkable environments may not support cycling for transport. People appear to walk for transport despite safety concerns. These findings can guide the implementation of global health strategies.
Environmental Health Perspectives 07/2015; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1409466 · 7.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the association of maternal physical activity before and during pregnancy with academic performance in youth.
This study included 1868 youth (6-18 years) and their mothers. Mothers recalled their physical activity before and during pregnancy. Mothers were categorized into four groups: "remained active", "became inactive", "became active" and "remained inactive". Academic performance was assessed through school records.
Boys whose mothers practiced physical activity before or during pregnancy had significantly higher scores in academic performance indicators independently of physical activity, fitness, current body mass index (BMI) and birthweight than those whose mothers did not practice physical activity before or during pregnancy (all p < 0.05). In addition, boys whose mothers remained active had higher scores in all academic indicators (ranging from +0.358 to +0.543) than boys whose mothers remained inactive. Boys whose mothers remained active had higher scores in Language (score +0.546; 95% CI, 0.150-0.940), average of Math and Language (score +0.468; 95% CI, 0.100-0.836) and grade point average (GPA) (score +0.368; 95% CI, 0.092-0.644) than boys whose mothers became active.
Maternal physical activity before and during pregnancy may positively influence youth's academic performance. Continuing maternal physical activity practice during pregnancy may have greater benefits for youth's academic performance.
The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 07/2015; DOI:10.3109/14767058.2015.1049525 · 1.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BackgroundsUnhealthy body composition is a cause for concern across the lifespan.Objective
The objective of this study was to examine the independent and combined associations between neonatal and current body composition with academic performance among youth.Methods
This cross-sectional study was conducted with a total of 1557 youth (745 girls) aged 10.4 ± 3.4 years. Birth weight and length at birth were self-reported. Current body composition was assessed by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and percentage of body fat (BF%). Academic performance was assessed through schools records.ResultsBirth weight was related to all academic variables in boys, independent of potential confounders, including BMI; whereas WC, BMI and BF% were related to all academic performance indicators in both boys and girls, independent of potential confounders, including birth weight (all P < 0.05). In addition, the combined adverse effects of low birth weight and current overweight on academic performance were observed in both boys and girls for grade point average (GPA) indicator. Boys in the group with none adverse effect had significantly higher scores in GPA (score +0.535; 95% confidence interval, 0.082–0.989) than boys in the group of both adverse effects (P < 0.007); among girls, GPA score was higher in the group with none adverse effect than in the groups with one or two adverse effects (P for trend = 0.029).Conclusions
Neonatal and current body composition, both independently and combined, may influence academic performance in youth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ecological models of health behaviour are an important conceptual framework to address the multiple correlates of obesity. Several single-country studies previously examined the relationship between the built environment and obesity in adults, but results are very diverse. An important reason for these mixed results is the limited variability in built environments in these single-country studies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine associations between perceived neighbourhood built environmental attributes and BMI/weight status in a multi-country study including 12 environmentally and culturally diverse countries.
A multi-site cross-sectional study was conducted in 17 cities (study sites) across 12 countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and USA). Participants (n = 14222, 18-66 years) self-reported perceived neighbourhood environmental attributes. Height and weight were self-reported in eight countries, and measured in person in four countries.
Three environmental attributes were associated with BMI or weight status in pooled data from 12 countries. Safety from traffic was the most robust correlate, suggesting that creating safe routes for walking/cycling by reducing the speed and volume of traffic might have a positive impact upon weight status/BMI across various geographical locations. Close proximity to several local destinations was associated with BMI across all countries, suggesting compact neighbourhoods with more places to walk related to lower BMI. Safety from crime showed a curvilinear relationship with BMI, with especially poor crime safety being related to higher BMI.
Environmental interventions involving these three attributes appear to have international relevance and focusing on these might have implications for tackling overweight/obesity.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 05/2015; 12(1):62. DOI:10.1186/s12966-015-0228-y · 3.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study evaluated school physical and social environment interventions on middle school students' physical activity. Methods: The intervention included opportunities for students' physical activity on-campus before, during, and after school hours involving increased access to sports equipment and trained supervisors. Systematic observations were conducted around 151 targeted areas in 24 middle schools over 3 years. Randomized regression models were conducted. Results: Overall intervention effects were statistically non-significant, but increased supervision and sports equipment availability were correlated with increases in observed physical activity. Results showed a significant intervention effect for observed before-school physical activity for girls. Conclusions: Though school environment changes can be difficult to achieve, environmental improvements were associated with greater physical activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crime is both a societal safety and public health issue. Examining different measures and aspects of crime-related safety and their correlations may provide insight into the unclear relationship between crime and children's physical activity. We evaluated five neighborhood crime-related safety measures to determine how they were interrelated. We then explored which crime-related safety measures were associated with children's total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and MVPA in their neighborhoods. Significant positive correlations between observed neighborhood incivilities and parents' perceptions of general crime and disorder were found (r = 0.30, p = 0.0002), as were associations between parents' perceptions of general crime and disorder and perceptions of stranger danger (r = 0.30, p = 0.0002). Parent report of prior crime victimization in their neighborhood was associated with observed neighborhood incivilities (r = 0.22, p = 0.007) and their perceptions of both stranger danger (r = 0.24, p = 0.003) and general crime and disorder (r = 0.37, p < 0.0001). After accounting for covariates, police-reported crime within the census block group in which children lived was associated with less physical activity, both total and in their neighborhood (beta = -0.09, p = 0.005, beta = -0.01, p = 0.02, respectively). Neighborhood-active children living in the lowest crime-quartile neighborhoods based on police reports had 40 min more of total MVPA on average compared to neighborhood-active children living in the highest crime-quartile neighborhoods. Findings suggest that police reports of neighborhood crime may be contributing to lower children's physical activity.
Journal of Urban Health 03/2015; 92(3). DOI:10.1007/s11524-015-9949-0 · 1.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study aims were to determine: (a) how class structure varies by dance type, (b) how moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior vary by dance class segments, and (c) how class structure relates to total MVPA in dance classes.
Participants were 291 boys and girls ages 5 to 18 years old enrolled in 58 dance classes at 21 dance studios in Southern California. MVPA and sedentary behavior were assessed with accelerometry, with data aggregated to 15-s epochs. Percent and minutes of MVPA and sedentary behavior during dance class segments and percent of class time and minutes spent in each segment were calculated using Freedson age-specific cut points. Differences in MVPA (Freedson 3 Metabolic Equivalents of Tasks age-specific cut points) and sedentary behavior ( < 100 counts/min) were examined using mixed-effects linear regression.
The length of each class segment was fairly consistent across dance types, with the exception that in ballet, more time was spent in technique as compared with private jazz/hip-hop classes and Latin-flamenco and less time was spent in routine/practice as compared with Latin-salsa/ballet folklorico. Segment type accounted for 17% of the variance in the proportion of the segment spent in MVPA. The proportion of the segment in MVPA was higher for routine/practice (44.2%) than for technique (34.7%). The proportion of the segment in sedentary behavior was lowest for routine/practice (22.8%).
The structure of dance lessons can impact youths' physical activity. Working with instructors to increase time in routine/practice during dance classes could contribute to physical activity promotion in youth.
Research quarterly for exercise and sport 03/2015; 86(3):1-8. DOI:10.1080/02701367.2015.1014084 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: To investigate relations of walking, bicycling and vehicle time to neighborhood vvalkability and total physical activity in youth. Methods: Participants (N=690) were from 380 census block groups of high/low vvalkability and income in two US regions. Home neighborhood residential density, intersection density, retail density, entertainment density and walkability were derived using GlS. Minutes/day of walking, bicycling and vehicle time were derived from processing algorithms applied to GPS. Accelerometers estimated total daily moderate-tovigorous physical activity (MVPA). Models were adjusted for nesting of days (N=2987) within participants within block groups. Results: Walking occurred on 33%, active travel on 43%, and vehicle time on 91% of the days observed. Intersection density and neighborhood walkability were positively related to walking and bicycling and negatively related to vehicle time. Residential density was positively related to walking. Conclusions: Increasing walking in youth could be effective in increasing total physical activity. Built environment findings suggest potential for increasing walking in youth through improving neighborhood walkability. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved,
Health & Place 03/2015; 32:1-7. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.12.008 · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Creating "activity-friendly environments" is recommended to promote physical activity, but potential co-benefits of such environments have not been well described. An extensive but non-systematic review of scientific and "gray" literature was conducted to explore a wide range of literature to understand the co-benefits of activity-friendly environments on physical health, mental health, social benefits, safety/injury prevention, environmental sustainability, and economics. Five physical activity settings were defined: parks/trails, urban design, transportation, schools, and workplaces/buildings.
A total of 418 higher-quality findings were summarized based on direction of association and quality of source.
The overall summary indicated 22 of 30 setting by outcome combinations showed “strong” evidence of co-benefits.
Each setting had strong evidence of at least 3 of the 6 co-benefits, and parks and trails had strong evidence of all 6 co-benefits. Thus, for each setting there are multiple features that can be designed to both facilitate physical activity and produce co-benefits.
All five physical activity settings could be designed so they have positive effects on economic outcomes, including increased home value, greater retail activity, reduced health care costs, and improved productivity.
Activity-friendly design in all settings had strong evidence of environmental co-benefits based on reduced pollution and carbon emissions.
There were many gaps in evidence of co-benefits in the schools and workplace settings as well the health consequences of environments that support active travel.
Overall, there was little evidence of negative consequences of activity-friendly environments.
The most important conclusion of this review is that creating communities, transportation systems, schools, and buildings that make physical activity attractive and convenient also produces a wide range of other benefits for communities. Rather than thinking that designing one feature of a transportation system or school is sufficient, we encourage decision-makers and designers to consider how features in all settings can be optimized for physical activity and multiple other benefits. We urge mayors, other city officials, and staff in multiple departments to consult these findings as an aid in decision-making.
For a Web-based version of this report, visit: http://activelivingresearch.org/making-case-designing-active-cities A peer-reviewed paper based on this report is available online through open access: Sallis, JF, et al. (2015). Co-benefits of designing communities for active living: an exploration of literature. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12:30.