251617 Improving the built environment and neighborhoods to increase physical activity in health disparity zones

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:10 AM

Mary Thomas, MB&BS, MPH , San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) Metro Health, San Antonii, TX
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is addressing the obesity epidemic through a comprehensive set of initiatives to increase access for physical activity in Bexar County, Texas targeting the health disparity areas. The aim is to implement population-based policy, systems and environmental changes using five evidence-based MAPPS strategies that provide access to increased physical activity and healthy eating.

One of the goals is to improve aspects of San Antonio's built environment through policy, systems, and environmental changes networking with many partners focusing on maximizing health equity. The interventions are multi-disciplinary, and expected to yield a built environment more conducive to walking and cycling, and an increase in the availability of no-cost spaces and activities for physical activity. Making changes in the built environment in the target areas with appropriate bilingual media campaigns seek to educate, motivate, and empower the community to engage in physical activity. The needs assessment and selection criteria for making changes in built environment targeting the health disparity areas have contributed to maximum changes in the most vulnerable population. Some of the activities are placing outdoor fitness stations in parks and libraries and improving sidewalks, signage, and pedestrian crossings for the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe policy and environmental strategies at the community level to increase the availability and access to no-cost places for physical activity in health disparity areas.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be the author because I am the senior evaluator for the CPPW project in San Antonio, Texas.
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.