Neighborhood physical activity opportunities for inner-city children and youth

Nicholas L Holt, Ceara-Tess Cunningham, Zoƫ L Sehn, John C Spence, Amanda S Newton, Geoff D C Ball
Health & Place 2009, 15 (4): 1022-8
The purpose of this study was to assess perceived physical activity (PA) opportunities and barriers for inner-city youth. Data were collected via interviews with 59 children, 8 school staff, and 13 youth workers plus objective neighborhood data. Analyses revealed three themes that influenced PA: neighborhood characteristics, family involvement, and adult-supervised programs. The neighborhood was highly walkable and multiple play spaces were available, but safety concerns restricted access. Children were rarely allowed out alone, but family accompaniment facilitated PA. Organized programs provided adult-supervised PA, but programs faced staffing problems that served to limit the provision of PA opportunities. Multiple ecological factors constrain or enable PA among inner-city youth.

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