Neighborhood Characteristics Favorable to Outdoor Physical Activity

Disparities by Socioeconomic and Racial/Ethnic Composition

Published In: Health & Place, v. 16, no. 2, Mar. 2010, p. 267-274

Posted on on January 01, 2010

by Luisa Franzini, Wendell Taylor, Marc N. Elliott, Paula Cuccaro, Susan R. Tortolero, M. Janice Gilliland, Jo Anne Grunbaum, Mark A. Schuster

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This paper uses a socioecological framework to investigate socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in neighborhood characteristics that are associated with outdoor physical activity. We surveyed 632 parents of 5th graders about perceptions of their neighborhood social processes and collected systematic observations of the physical environment on their block-face of residence. Higher poverty neighborhoods and non-White neighborhoods have better accessibility; however, they are less safe, less comfortable, and less pleasurable for outdoor physical activity, and have less favorable social processes. Interventions to reduce disparities in physical activity should address not only the physical environment, but also social processes favorable to physical activity.

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