Access to Physical Activity in Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color
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Increasing access to physical activity opportunities is associated with positive change in youth physical activity behavior and many additional individual, social, economic and environmental benefits for the communities involved. This dissertation has three aims: 1. Identify examples and suggest best practices for increasing access to physical activity in low-income communities and communities of color. The method chosen is a systematic literature review into three databases. The use of an ecological framework for sustainable community-level health change, Active Living by Design, will guide the analysis. 2. Identify all facilities within Pasadena, TX that currently provide an opportunity for active recreation, sport, and other forms of physical activity, and display this information in an asset map. Geospatial analysis will be used to identify facilities and create the asset map. Additional information will be added to map from a facility level survey, described in aim three. 3. Determine facilitators and barriers, and other key issues, relevant to sharing facilities with the public for the purposes of active recreation, sport, and other forms of physical activity in Pasadena, TX. To elicit this information, an online survey will be distributed to the facility administrators of each respective location within Pasadena. Results will be gathered, analyzed, and disseminated to community partners. In response to the first aim, only 13 cases demonstrate success in increasing access, suggesting that more can be done to address inequalities in physical activity opportunities. Of the existing efforts, few utilize crucial components to create a sustainable change in the community. For the second aim, findings from mapping all facilities in Pasadena, TX illustrate inadequate access to places for physical activity that were open, developed, and in good condition. Lastly, for the third aim, there were trends in facilitators to shared-use showing a willingness and interest in sharing facility space with the community. Concerning barriers to shared-use, findings were similar to national studies in the types of challenges faced by facility administrators including staffing, liability and cost. Utilizing formal shared-use agreements may help address the barriers surrounding liability, misuse of facilities, insurance, and maintenance; concerns expressed by facility administrators.
Stasi, Selina Marie (2018). Access to Physical Activity in Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from