Journal of Community Health

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 640–649 | Cite as

The Neighborhood Recreational Environment and Physical Activity Among Urban Youth: An Examination of Public and Private Recreational Facilities

  • Amy V. Ries
  • Alice F. Yan
  • Carolyn C. Voorhees
Original Paper

Abstract

Recreational facility availability has been shown to associate positively with youth physical activity levels. Nonetheless, little is known about additional facility characteristics affecting their use for physical activity as well as differences between private and public facilities. This study examines (1) perceptions and use of public and private recreational facilities and (2) environmental and individual-level correlates of both facility use and physical activity among urban adolescents. Physical activity was assessed using accelerometry, objective measures of facility availability were obtained using Geographical Information Systems data, and facility use and perceptions were measured with a survey (N = 327). Adolescents were more likely to use public than private facilities despite perceiving that private facilities were of higher quality. Adolescents’ use of both public and private facilities was associated with perceived (but not objective) availability, perceived quality, and use by friends and family. Public, but not private, facility use was associated with physical activity. This study reveals the importance of public facilities to the physical activity of urban youth.

Keywords

Environment Physical activity Recreation Adolescents African Americans 

References

  1. 1.
    Panico, S., Celentano, E., & Krogh, V. (1987). Physical activity and its relationship to blood pressure in school children. Journal of Chronic Diseases, 10, 925–930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sallis, J. F., Patterson, T. L., Buono, M. J., & Nader, P. R. (1988). Relation of cardiovascular fitness and physical activity to cardiovascular disease risk factors in children and adults. American Journal of Epidemiology, 5, 933–941.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Strazzullo, P., Cappuccio, F. P., & Trevisan, M. (1988). Leisure time physical activity and blood pressure in schoolchildren. American Journal of Epidemiology, 127, 726–733.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Calfas, K. J., & Taylor, W. C. (1994). Effects of physical activity on psychological variables in adolescents. Pediatric Exercise Science, 6, 406–423.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Telama, R., Yang, X., Laakso, L., & Viikari, J. (1997). Physical activity in childhood and adolescence as predictor of physical activity in young adulthood. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 317–323.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Yang, X., Telama, R., Leskinen, E., Mansikkaniemi, K., Viikari, J., & Raitakari, O. T. (2006). Testing a model of physical activity and obesity tracking from youth to adulthood: The cardiovascular risk in young Finns study. International Journal of Obesity, 31, 521–527.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Paffenbarger, R. S., Hyde, R. T., Wing, A. L., Lee, I. M., & Karopert, J. B. (1994). Some interrelations of physical activity, physiological fitness, health, and longevity. In C. Bouchard, R. J. Shephard, & T. Stephens (Eds.), Physical Activity, Fitness, and Health: International Proceedings and Consensus Statement (pp. 119–133). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Paffenbarger, R. S., Hyde, R. T., Wing, A. L., Lee, I. M., Jung, D. L., & Kampert, J. B. (1993). Association of changes in physical-activity level and other lifestyle characteristics with mortality in men. New England Journal of Medicine, 328, 538–545.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Blair, S. N., Kohl, H. W., 3rd, Barlow, C. E., Paffenbarger, R. S., Gibbons, L. W., & Macera, C. A. (1995). Changes in physical fitness and all-cause mortality: A prospective study of healthy and unhealthy men. JAMA, 273, 1093–1098.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lee, I. M., Hsieh, C. C., & Paffenbarger, R. S. (1995). Exercise intensity and longevity in men: The Harvard Alumni Health Study. JAMA, 273, 1179–1184.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nelson, M. C., Neumark-Stzainer, D., Hannan, P. J., Sirard, J. R., & Story, M. (2006). Longitudinal and secular trends in physical activity and sedentary behavior during adolescence. Pediatrics, 6, e1627–e1634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eaton, D. K., Kann, L., Kinchen, S., et al. (2008). Youth risk behavior surveillance–United States, 2007. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 4, 1–131.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sallis, J. F., Bauman, A., & Pratt, M. (1998). Environmental and policy interventions to promote physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 379–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sallis, J. F., & Owen, N. (2002). Ecological models of health behavior. In K. Glanz, B. K. Rimmer, & F. M. Lewis (Eds.), Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 462–484). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Stokols, D. (1996). Translating social ecological theory into guidelines for community health promotion. American Journal of Health Promotion, 4, 282–298.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Garcia, A. W., Broda, M. A., Frenn, M., Coviak, C., Pender, N. J., & Ronis, D. L. (1995). Gender and developmental differences in exercise beliefs among youth and prediction of their exercise behavior. The Journal of School Health, 6, 213–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mota, J., Almeida, M., Santos, P., & Ribeiro, J. C. (2005). Perceived neighborhood environments and physical activity in adolescents. Preventive Medicine, 5–6, 834–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Utter, J., Denny, S., Robinson, E. M., Ameratunga, S., & Watson, P. (2006). Perceived access to community facilities, social motivation, and physical activity among New Zealand youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 5, 770–773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Li, M., Dibley, M. J., Sibbritt, D., & Yan, H. (2006). Factors associated with adolescents’ physical inactivity in Xi’an City, China. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 12, 2075–2085.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Scott, M. M., Evenson, K. R., Cohen, D. A., & Cox, C. E. (2007). Comparing perceived and objectively measured access to recreational facilities as predictors of physical activity in adolescent girls. Journal of Urban Health, 3, 346–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ries, A. V., Voorhees, C., Roche, K. M., Gittelsohn, J., Yan, A., & Astone, N. (2009). A quantitative examination of park characteristics related to park use and physical activity among urban youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 3S, S64–S70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Veugelers, P., Sithole, F., Zhang, S., & Muhajarine, N. (2008). Neighborhood characteristics in relation to diet, physical activity and overweight of Canadian children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 3, 152–159.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Santos, M. P., Page, A. S., Cooper, A. R., Ribeiro, J. C., & Mota, J. (2009). Perceptions of the built environment in relation to physical activity in Portuguese adolescents. Health Place, 2, 548–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Romero, A. J. (2005). Low-income neighborhood barriers and resources for adolescents’ physical activity. Journal of Adolescent Health, 3, 253–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zakarian, J. M., Hovell, M. F., Hofstetter, C. R., Sallis, J. F., & Keating, K. J. (1994). Correlates of vigorous exercise in a predominantly low SES and minority high school population. Preventive Medicine, 3, 314–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Powell, L. M., Chaloupka, F. J., Slater, S. J., Johnston, L. D., & O’Malley, P. M. (2007). The availability of local-area commercial physical activity-related facilities and physical activity among adolescents. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4(Suppl), S292–S300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cohen, D. A., Ashwood, J. S., Scott, M. M., et al. (2006). Public parks and physical activity among adolescent girls. Pediatrics, 5, e1381–e1389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dowda, M., McKenzie, T. L., Cohen, D. A., et al. (2007). Commercial venues as supports for physical activity in adolescent girls. Preventive Medicine, 2–3, 163–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gordon-Larsen, P., Nelson, M. C., Page, P., & Popkin, B. M. (2006). Inequality in the built environment underlies key health disparities in physical activity and obesity. Pediatrics, 2, 417–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Epstein, L. H., Raja, S., Gold, S. S., Paluch, R. A., Pak, Y., & Roemmich, J. N. (2006). Reducing sedentary behavior: The relationship between park area and the physical activity of youth. Psychological Science, 8, 654–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Roemmich, J. N., Epstein, L. H., Raja, S., Yin, L., Robinson, J., & Winiewicz, D. (2006). Association of access to parks and recreational facilities with the physical activity of young children. Preventive Medicine, 6, 437–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Jago, R., Baranowski, T., & Baranowski, J. C. (2006). Observed, GIS, and self-reported environmental features and adolescent physical activity. American Journal of Health Promotion, 6, 422–428.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Gomez, J. E., Johnson, B. A., Selva, M., & Sallis, J. F. (2004). Violent crime and outdoor physical activity among inner-city youth. Preventive Medicine, 5, 876–881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Norman, J. G., Nutter, S. K., Ryan, S., Sallis, J. F., Calfas, K. J., & Patrick, K. (2006). Community design and access to recreational facilities as correlates of adolescent physical activity and body-mass index. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 3(Suppl 1), S118–S128.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Nichol, M., Janssen, I., & Pickett, W. (2010). Associations between neighborhood safety, availability of recreational facilities, and adolescent physical activity among Canadian youth. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 4, 442–450.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Moody, J. S., Prochaska, J. J., Sallis, J. F., McKenzie, T. L., Brown, M., & Conway, T. L. (2004). Viability of parks and recreation centers as sites for youth physical activity promotion. Health Promotion Practice, 4, 438–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Timperio, A., Giles-Corti, B., Crawford, D., et al. (2008). Features of public open spaces and physical activity among children: Findings from the CLAN study. Preventive Medicine, 5, 514–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ries, A. V., Gittelsohn, J., Voorhees, C. C., Roche, K. M., Clifton, K. J., & Astone, N. M. (2008). The environment and urban adolescents’ use of recreational facilities for physical activity: A qualitative study. American Journal of Health Promotion, 1, 43–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ashley, J., Samaniego, D., & Cheun, L. (1997). How Oakland turns its back on teens: A youth perspective. Social Justice, 3, 170–176.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Strauss, R. S., Rodzilsky, D., Burack, G., & Colin, M. (2001). Psychosocial correlates of physical activity in healthy children. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 8, 897–902.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Reynolds, K. D., Killen, J. D., Bryson, S. W., et al. (1990). Psychosocial predictors of physical activity in adolescents. Preventive Medicine, 5, 541–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Sallis, J. F., Prochaska, J. J., & Taylor, W. C. (2000). A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 5, 963–975.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Voorhees, C. C., Murray, D., Welk, G., et al. (2005). The role of peer social network factors and physical activity in adolescent girls. American Journal of Health Behavior, 2, 183–190.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sallis, J. F., & Glanz, K. (2006). The role of built environments in physical activity, eating, and obesity in childhood. Future Child, 1, 89–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Kumanyika, S., & Grier, S. (2006). Targeting interventions for ethnic minority and low-income populations. Future Child, 1, 187–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Hedley, A. A., Ogden, C. L., Johnson, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Curtin, L. R., & Flegal, K. M. (2004). Prevalence of overweight and obesity among US children, adolescents, and adults, 1999–2002. JAMA, 23, 2847–2850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Treuth, M. S., Schmitz, K., Catellier, D. J., et al. (2004). Defining accelerometer thresholds for activity intensities in adolescent girls. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 7, 1259–1266.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Sallis, J. F., Johnson, M. F., Calfas, K. J., Caparosa, S., & Nichols, J. F. (1997). Assessing perceived physical environmental variables that may influence physical activity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 4, 345–351.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Sallis, J. F., & Saelens, B. E. (2003). Environmental correlates of physical activity in a sample of Belgian adults. American Journal of Health Promotion, 1, 83–92.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    ESRI. (2005). ArcGIS 9.1 [computer software]. California.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Kirtland, K. A., Porter, D. E., Addy, C. L., et al. (2003). Environmental measures of physical activity supports: Perception versus reality. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 24, 323–331.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Stata Corp. (2005). Stata Statistical Software: Release 9 [computer software]. Texas.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Whitt-Glover, M. C., Taylor, W. C., Floyd, M. F., Yore, M. M., Yancey, A. K., & Matthews, C. E. (2009). Disparities in physical activity and sedentary behaviors among US children and adolescents: Prevalence, correlates, and intervention implications. Journal of Public Health Policy, 30, S309–S334.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy V. Ries
    • 1
  • Alice F. Yan
    • 2
  • Carolyn C. Voorhees
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NutritionThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health and KinesiologyUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations