142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Ready to be Active? Rural Physical Activity Environments

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Cynthia K. Perry, PhD, FNP , School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Linda K Ko, PhD , Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
Norma Mariscal , Public Health Services, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
Sandra Linde , Sunnyside Hospital, Sunnyside, WA
Beti Thompson , Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
Introduction:  Rural Latinos are less active and have a greater prevalence of overweight/obesity compared with their non-Latino white and urban counterparts. Understanding the physical activity environment experienced by rural residents can inform interventions designed to promote physical activity in rural communities. 

 Methods:  Assessments were taken in four rural towns with predominantly Latino residents using the Rural Active Living Assessment. Street segments in town centers, thoroughfares and neighborhoods were assessed for features related to walkability, such as sidewalks and connectivity and land use. Data were collected on community recreational amenities and programs and active living policies. Scores were generated for amenities, programs and policies.

Results:  In all four towns the majority of residential street segments did not have sidewalks and were rated as not walkable. Only 35% of town center street segments had sidewalks on both sides, 24% had sidewalks on one side and the majority of sidewalks did not have a buffer. All towns had a score of 16 (max 40) for presence of parks and playgrounds. Their quality was rated fair to poor in three towns and good to excellent in one town. All towns had a public recreation department but only the largest town had a public recreation center. All four school districts allow public use of playgrounds and fields when school is not in session.

Conclusions: These rural towns have recreational amenities although most are in fair to poor condition.  Residential streets are not walkable. The environment in these rural towns are not conducive to active living.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate physical activity environment in rural communities

Keyword(s): Built Environment, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am and have been the principle investigator on research grants focused on physical activity research promotion in rural communities for over a decade.
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.