Latino Kids Lack Access to Safe "Active Spaces"
kids often have limited access to safe gyms, fields, and playgrounds,
but shared use agreements and street-level improvements can
improve access to these "active spaces" in underserved
communities and may help young Latinos become more physically
active and maintain a healthy weight, according to a new package
of research materials from Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among
new Salud America! "Active Spaces for Latino Kids"
has a research review of the latest science, an original animated
video, and an infographic.
A study shows that 81 percent of Latino neighborhoods did not
have a recreational facility, compared with 38 percent of White
schools provided public access to their physical activity facilities
in 2006 (29%) than did in 2000 (35%).
use agreements - formal contracts between entities that outline
terms for sharing public spaces for physical activity-have increased
access to active spaces in Latino communities.
"Shared use agreements can help open school spaces to the
public by protecting against liability and promoting shared
costs and staffing," said Amelie G. Ramirez, director of
Salud America!, based at the Institute for Health Promotion
Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Salud
America! is a national network of stakeholders seeking environmental
and policy solutions to Latino obesity.
ways to increase use of active spaces include:
"Complete streets" - repairing sidewalks and installing
street lights, trails, and bike lanes-also can help Latino families
walk and bike more safely to active spaces.Studies
show that more people walk or bike to active sites when those
sites are closer to home and safer to travel to. Evaluating
the characteristics of active spaces can ensure those spaces
(and new ones) meet Latinos' cultural needs.
streets"- close off all vehicular traffic and create safe,
inviting active spaces for residents. A program in a Latino-majority
urban area of Chicago used an open streets model that closed
streets to vehicles and allowed 10,000-plus residents to walk,
run, and bike.
new research package is the third of six new research material
packages by Salud America!, each of which focused on a specific
topic on Latino childhood obesity:
food in the neighborhood;