77 research outputs found

    Features and amenities of school playgrounds: A direct observation study of utilization and physical activity levels outside of school time

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>A significant amount of research has examined whether park or playground availability is associated with physical activity. However, little research has examined whether specific features or amenities of parks or playgrounds, such as the number of unique types of playground equipment or the safety of the equipment is associated with utilization of the facility or physical activity levels while at the facility. There are no studies that use direct observation and a detailed park assessment to examine these associations.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Twenty urban schoolyards in the Midwest, ten of which were renovated, were included in this study. Using a detailed environmental assessment tool (i.e., Environmental Assessment of Public Recreation Spaces), information on a variety of playground attributes was collected. Using direct observation (i.e., System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth), the number of adults, girls and boys attending each schoolyard and their physical activity levels were recorded. Each schoolyard was observed ten times for 90 minutes each time outside of school hours. Clustered multivariable negative binomial regressions and linear regressions were completed to examine the association between playground attributes and utilization of the schoolyard and the proportion active on the playground, respectively. Effect modification by renovation status was also examined.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>At renovated schoolyards, the total number of play features was significantly associated with greater utilization in adults and girls; overall cleanliness was significantly associated with less utilization in girls and boys; and coverage/shade for resting features was significantly associated with greater utilization in adults and boys. At unrenovated schoolyards, overall safety was significantly associated with greater utilization in boys. No playground attribute was associated with the proportion active on the playground after adjusting for all other significant playground attributes.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Having a large quantity of play features and shade at renovated playgrounds were positively associated with utilization of the schoolyard. Modifying playgrounds to have these features may increase the utilization of these facilities outside of school time. Additional research should explore what features and amenities are associated with increased physical activity levels of children and adults who utilize the facilities.</p

    Associations among neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation, physical activity facilities, and physical activity in youth during the transition from childhood to adolescence

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    BACKGROUND: This study aims to examine the longitudinal association of neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation (SED) with physical activity in youth during the transition from elementary to middle school, and to determine if access to physical activity facilities moderates this relationship. METHODS: Data were obtained from the Transitions and Activity Changes in Kids (TRACK) study, which was a multilevel, longitudinal study designed to identify the factors that influence changes in physical activity as youth transition from elementary to middle school. The analytic sample for the current study included 660 youth with complete data in grades 5 (baseline) and 7 (follow-up). A repeated measures multilevel framework was employed to examine the relationship between SED and physical activity over time and the potential moderating role of elements of the built environment. RESULTS: Decreases in physical activity varied by the degree of neighborhood SED with youth residing in the most deprived neighborhoods experiencing the greatest declines in physical activity. Access to supportive physical activity facilities did not moderate this relationship. CONCLUSION: Future research studies are needed to better understand how neighborhood SED influences youth physical activity over time

    Examining the Impact of the Walking School Bus With an Agent-Based Model

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    We used an agent-based model to examine the impact of the walking school bus (WSB) on children’s active travel to school. We identified a synergistic effect of the WSB with other intervention components such as an educational campaign designed to improve attitudes toward active travel to school. Results suggest that to maximize active travel to school, children should arrive on time at “bus stops” to allow faster WSB walking speeds. We also illustrate how an agent-based model can be used to identify the location of routes maximizing the effects of the WSB on active travel. Agent-based models can be used to examine plausible effects of the WSB on active travel to school under various conditions and to identify ways of implementing the WSB that maximize its effectiveness

    Co-varying Patterns of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors and Their Long-Term Maintenance Among Adolescents

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    Background: We examined the covarying patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviors among adolescents and their long-term maintenance. Methods: Data came from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1995-2002). We used latent class analysis to identify distinct covarying patterns in adolescence. Logistic regression models were used to predict odds of meeting moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) recommendations (≥5 bouts/week) and exceeding screen time guidelines (\u3e2 hours/day) 6 years later based on their adolescent class profile. Results: Five classes for each gender were identified and labeled as low physical activity (PA)/low sedentary behaviors (SED), moderate (Mod) PA/high (HI) SED, Mod PA/low SED, HI PA/low SED, and HI PA (except skating/biking)/low SED. Compared with low PA/low SED, males and females in Mod PA/low SED, HI PA/low SED, and HI PA (except skating/biking)/low SED classes had increased odds of meeting MVPA recommendations in young adulthood. Mod PA/HI SED had higher odds of exceeding screen time guidelines in young adulthood (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] for females: 1.67, 95% CI: 1.00-2.81; AOR for males: 3.31, 95% CI: 1.80-6.09). Conclusions: Findings are useful to aid the development of multifactorial interventions that promote physical activity and reduce screen time among adolescents transitioning to adulthood

    Validity of environmental audits using GigaPan® and Google Earth Technology

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    Abstract Background Health behaviors are shaped by the context in which people live. However, documenting environmental context has remained a challenge. More specifically, direct observation techniques require large investments in time and resources and auditing the environment through web-based platforms has limited stability in spatio-temporal imagery. This study examined the validity of a new methodology, using GigaPan® imagery, where we took photos locally and, stitched them together using GigaPan® technology, and quantified environmental attributes from the resulting panoramic photo. For comparison, we examined validity using Google Earth imagery. Methods A total of 464 street segments were assessed using three methods: GigaPan® audits, Google Earth audits, and direct observation audits. Thirty-seven different attributes were captured representing three broad constructs: land use, traffic and safety, and amenities. Sensitivity (i.e. the proportion of true positives) and specificity (i.e. the proportion of true negatives) were used to estimate the validity of GigaPan® and Google Earth audits using direct observation audits as the gold standard. Results Using GigaPan®, sensitivity was 80% or higher for 6 of 37 items and specificity was 80% or higher for 31 of 37 items. Using Google Earth, sensitivity was 80% or higher for 8 of 37 items and specificity was 80% or higher for 30 of 37 items. The validity of GigaPan® and Google Earth was similar, with significant differences in sensitivity and specificity for 7 items and 2 items, respectively. Conclusion GigaPan® performed well, especially when identifying features absent from the environment. A major strength of the GigaPan® technology is its ability to be implemented quickly in the field relative to direct observation. GigaPan® is a method to consider as an alternative to direct observation when temporality is prioritized or Google Earth imagery is unavailable.https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/144541/1/12942_2018_Article_147.pd

    Stepping It Up: Walking Behaviors in Children Transitioning from 5th to 7th Grade

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    The purpose of this study was to (1) describe children’s walking behaviors in 5th to 7th grade and change over time and (2) examine associations between walking behaviors and Walk Score®. Participants consisted of n = 586 students from the Transitions and Activity Changes in Kids (TRACK) Study. Children reported any walking behavior (e.g., exercise and transportation) over the past five days. Walk Score was calculated based on children’s home address. Descriptive statistics summarized walking behaviors by gender and time, and repeated measure mixed models examined the relationship between walking behaviors and Walk Score. Approximately 46.8% and 19.2% of 5th grade children reported walking for exercise and transportation, respectively, and these percentages declined through 7th grade. Girls reported higher levels of total walking behavior and walking for exercise than boys (p \u3c 0.001). Girls with a higher Walk Score had 63% higher odds of reporting walking for transportation than girls with a lower Walk Score (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.02, 2.62). Walking behaviors among children were infrequent with significant declines over time, and of the nine associations examined with Walk Score, only one was significant. Efforts should prioritize frequent walking behavior and community design to increase children’s physical activity

    The Associations Between Park Environments and Park Use in Southern US Communities

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    Purpose To document park use and park and neighborhood environment characteristics in rural communities, and to examine the relationship between park characteristics and park use. Methods The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities measured use in 42 target areas across 6 community parks in May 2010 and October 2010. Direct observation instruments were used to assess park and neighborhood environment characteristics. Logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between the condition, number of amenities, and number of incivilities in a target area with target area use. Findings Ninety‐seven people were observed across all parks during May 2010 data collection and 116 people during October 2010 data collection. Low park quality index scores and unfavorable neighborhood environment characteristics were observed. There was a significant positive association between number of incivilities in a target area and target area use (OR = 1.91; 95% CI: 1.09‐3.38; P = .03). Conclusions The number of people observed using the parks in this study was low, and it was considerably less than the number observed in other studies. The objective park and neighborhood environment characteristics documented in this study provide a more comprehensive understanding of parks than other studies. Further examining the complex relationship between park and neighborhood environment characteristics and park use is important, as it can inform park administrators and city planners of characteristics that are best able to attract visitors.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/108592/1/jrh12071.pd

    Physical Activity Breaks and Facilities in US Secondary Schools

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    BACKGROUND Research on physical activity breaks and facilities (indoor and outdoor) in secondary schools is relatively limited. METHODS School administrators and students in nationally representative samples of 8th (middle school) and 10th/12th grade (high school) students were surveyed annually from 2008‐2009 to 2011‐2012. School administrators reported information about physical activity breaks and facilities. Students self‐reported height, weight, and physical activity. RESULTS The prevalence of physical activity breaks and indoor and outdoor facilities (dichotomized by median split) differed significantly by region of the country, school size, student race/ethnicity, and school socioeconomic status (SES). Breaks were associated with lower odds of overweight (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.91, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83‐1.00) and obesity (AOR = 0.86, 95% CI: 0.75‐0.99) among middle school students. Among low‐SES middle school students and schools, higher indoor facilities were associated with lower rates of overweight and obesity. Among high school students, higher indoor and outdoor facilities were associated with 19‐42% higher odds of moderate‐to‐vigorous physical activity. CONCLUSIONS Physical activity breaks and school facilities may help to address high rates of overweight/obesity and low physical activity levels among secondary students, especially lower‐SES students. Students in all schools should have equal access to these resources.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/108694/1/josh12206.pd

    Examining the Role of Churches in Adolescent Girls\u27 Physical Activity

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    Background: In adults, associations between church attendance and positive health behaviors exist; however, similar evidence among children and youth is lacking. The purposes of this investigation were to examine the associations between physical activity (PA) and church attendance, PA and use of church as a PA facility, and PA and proximity to churches among those who use church as a PA facility (while addressing racial and geographic differences). Methods: High school girls (N=915, age=17.7 ± 0.6 years, 56% African American) completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall and surveys including demographics and use of PA facilities. Geographic Information Systems data were used to spatially examine the number of churches within a 0.75-mile street network buffer around girls\u27 homes. Associations were examined using mixed model analyses controlling for demographic factors. Results: For the overall sample, total METs (56 versus 52) and proportion of girls meeting PA guidelines (62% vs. 52%) were significantly higher in church attendees versus nonattendees. Among participants who used facilities, having more churches close to home was associated with more PA. Conclusions: Church attendance and use are correlates of physical activity that should be further explored and addressed in future intervention research with adolescent girls
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