239835 Association of physical activity with park safety and park use: Variations by neighborhood racial composition

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:30 AM

Susan Babey, PhD , UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Joelle Wolstein, MPP , UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Allison Diamant, MD, MSHS , Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Availability of places to engage in physical activity may influence levels of activity. However, low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have fewer resources to support physical activity. These disparities in access to resources can contribute to disparities in activity levels among adolescents. Methods: Using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), a population-based survey of California households, we examined the association of physical activity with park availability, perceptions of safety, and park use among adolescents living in predominantly white, predominantly non-white, or mixed race neighborhoods adjusting for a range of individual, family and environmental characteristics. Results: California adolescents living in predominantly non-white neighborhoods were active on fewer days than those living in predominantly white neighborhoods (3.3 vs. 3.9, p<0.001). In regression analyses stratified by neighborhood racial composition, adolescents who recently visited a park were active on more days than adolescents with no recent park visit in all community types. Perceptions of park safety were associated with being physically active on more days per week only among adolescents living in mixed race neighborhoods. Latino adolescents were active on fewer days per week than white adolescents among those living in mixed race or predominantly white neighborhoods, but not in predominantly non-white neighborhoods. Conclusions: The current results suggest that efforts to increase use of existing parks may be a promising strategy for promoting physical activity for youth in a variety of different neighborhoods. However, targeting and adapting these efforts for particular groups such as Latinos could improve success.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss the relationship between physical activity resources and level of physical activity 2) Identify factors associated with engaging in physical activity in different types of neighborhoods

Keywords: Environment, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a senior research scientist at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and an Assistant Researcher in the UCLA School of Public Health, Department of Health Services. I am the co-principal investigator for the research being presented and have overseen all aspects of the research and analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.