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Community Design Impacts on Health Habits in Low-income Southern Nevadans

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Objectives: The purposes of this exploratory study were to: (1) characterize selected community design features; and (2) determine the relationship between select features and physical activity (PA) levels and nutrition habits for a small sample of low-income southern Nevadans. Methods: Secondary analysis was conducted on data from selected participants of the Nevada Healthy Homes Partnership program; self-report data on PA and diet habits were compared to national guidelines. Community design features were identified via GIS within a one-mile radius of participants' homes. Descriptive statistics characterized these features and chi-square analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between select features and habits. Results: Data from 71 participants were analyzed; the majority failed to reach either PA or fruit and vegetable guidelines (81.7% and 93.0%, respectively). Many neighborhoods were absent of parks (71.8%), trailheads (36.6%), or pay-for-use PA facilities (47.9%). The mean number of grocery stores was 3.4 ± 2.3 per neighborhood. Chi-square analyses were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Findings were insufficient to make meaningful conclusions, but support the need for health promotion to meet guidelines. More research is needed to assess the impact of health-promoting community design and healthy behaviors, particularly in vulnerable populations.
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Keywords: BUILT ENVIRONMENT; COMMUNITY DESIGN; NUTRITION; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, USA 2: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, USA. [email protected]

Publication date: July 1, 2016

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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