Association of perceived and objective park access with physical activity and obesity among adolescents
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
: 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.
Background: Regular physical activity is important for maintaining health and preventing obesity. Parks and other open spaces provide important opportunities for youth to be physically active. However, few studies have compared the association of both perceived and objective access to parks with physical activity and obesity among youth. Methods: Data are from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), a population-based survey of California households, and the California Protected Areas Database. We examined the association of perceived and objectively measured park availability with physical activity and obesity while adjusting for park use and perceptions of safety as well as age, gender, race, and income. Results: In regression analyses adjusting for the factors listed above, objective park availability and recent park use, but not perceived park availability, were associated with physical activity. Specifically, adolescents living in walking distance of a park and those who recently visited a park were more likely to engage in regular physical activity. Conversely, objective park availability and recent park use were not significantly associated with obesity. However, perceived park availability and perceptions of park safety were associated with obesity - adolescents who self-reported having a park within walking distance and adolescents who perceived their neighborhood parks as safe were less likely to be obese. Conclusions: Increasing access to places to engage in physical activity may be helpful for promoting physical activity and preventing obesity. However, additional research is needed to understand the relationship between perceived and objective access to parks.
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the health benefits associated with physical activity among youth
Identify factors associated with physical activity and obesity among adolescents
Discuss the relationship between access to parks and level of physical activity
Discuss the relationship between access to parks and obesity
Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Environment
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. For the past twelve years I have directed research examining the social and environmental factors related to overweight and obesity, chronic health conditions, and health-related behaviors such as physical activity, and dietary behavior. I have served as PI or investigator on many research projects and am currently studying the impact of physical activity environments on obesity and physical activity.
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.