259923 Support for local environmental health: Increasing physical activity options in San Antonio

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Mary Thomas, MPH , Communities Putting Prevention to Work, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio, TX
Maggie Thompson, MS , Health Program Manager, Communities Putting Prevention to Work, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio, TX
Introduction: The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is addressing the obesity epidemic by implementing population-based policy, systems and environmental changes which promote physical activity and health equity among vulnerable populations Method: Metro Health collaborated with many partners to implement environmental changes in parks, housing units, down town and in all neighborhoods in disparity areas. The city passed Complete Streets Policy to enhance and increase pedestrians and bikers in the city. Bike lanes, signage, and bike kiosks provide active transportation for visitors and residents and improve air quality. The fitness stations and walking trails in parks in disparity areas and libraries provide access to physical activity options to promote health equity. Safe routes to School Plans for 7 middles schools in disparity areas are approved for implementation. Siclovia 2011 promoted physical activity.

Results: The park user survey showed 53.5% of the park users have increased the time at the parks after installation of fitness stations. Bike kiosks, launched in March 2011, has about 200 bikes, and has reported 941 annual memberships and 4336 24-hour memberships. The bike checkouts so far is 24,247 with average 83 trips daily covering 4 miles and 47 minutes per trip on average (as on 12/31/2011). 68% BRFSS respondents reported that their neighborhood is safe to walk. Complete Streets policy encourages active transportation allowing individuals to safely utilize public right-of-way for recreation and access to parks. It will promote safe pedestrian, bicycle and automobile travel for all ages and abilities Discussion: The Policy, environmental changes, and Safe Routes to School plans increase physical activity options and protect vulnerable populations such as school children, pedestrians and bikers.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the changes in built environments to increase physical activity options in parks and libraries. 2. Discuss the active transportation through installation of bike kiosks. 3. Describe the benefits of Complete Streets Policy.

Keywords: Environment, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for collecting, documenting and preparing reports for CPPW team. The information is from all the reports received from all partners of the grant
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.