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The Effects of Neighborhood Enhancements on Children's Physical Activity

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Objectives: We evaluated whether significant changes made to the built environment impact children's physical activity levels. Methods: We carried out a “natural experiment” in a low-income, minority neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri. Families with children 5-14 years old from an experimental and a comparison neighborhood completed a survey assessing parental perceptions of child physical activity behaviors before and after significant built environmental improvements. Results: Parents reported no significant change in children's physical activity levels in either neighborhood. Conclusions: Enhancements to the built environment have been recommended; however, results suggest additional efforts beyond built environment improvements may be needed to increase children's activity levels, especially among low-income, minority populations.
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Keywords: BUILT ENVIRONMENT; CHILD HEALTH; MINORITY HEALTH; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Department of Exercise Science, Columbia, SC, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2015

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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