Online Program

Playground safety disparities: Results from the Play Across St. Louis study

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Cassandra Arroyo-Johnson, MS, PhD, Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
Laurel Milam, MA, Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Goldie Komaie, PhD, Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, Brown School, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Melody S. Goodman, PhD, Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
Zip code has been shown to be a predictor of mortality from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Obesity and sedentary behavior place youth at an increased risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers later in life. Local school-based initiatives show overweight/obesity, low levels of physical activity, and poor cardiorespiratory fitness are highly prevalent among school-aged youth in the City of St. Louis, MO (StL). Neighborhood environment factors have been shown to influence physical activity. To date, an assessment of physical activity resources in StL has not been conducted. To address this gap, in collaboration with the StL Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Partnership, the Play Across StL (PA-StL) study is assessing the presence and condition of publicly accessible playgrounds for all 79 neighborhoods in StL using community engaged research. Google Earth was used to conduct e-windshield surveys and identified 324 playgrounds in StL by neighborhood. The Play Across Boston playground safety and conditions survey was adapted for StL with the HEAL Active Living Work Group. Playground safety assessments are currently in progress. Construction, maintenance, and overall playground safety scores, straight-line distance from geographic center of each neighborhood to the nearest playground and the nearest playground with a safety score in the top quartile will be calculated. Results from the study will be used to identify areas where there are disparities in playground safety and develop a strategic plan in partnership with businesses, local and state government, residents, and the HEAL partnership address playground safety issues.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the social and political context within which the Play Across StL playground safety assessment was conducted. Identify maintenance and construction standards for playground safety. Discuss potential policy interventions to address playground safety disparities.

Keyword(s): Built Environment, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently the Chair of the St. Louis Healthy Eating Active Living Partnership. I am the PI of the Play Across St. Louis study. My scientific expertise includes assessment and analysis of physical activity and built environment for physical activity measures, youth physical activity, obesity, chronic disease prevention, and community based participatory research.
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.