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Journal Article


Watson KB, Harris CD, Carlson SA, Dorn JM, Fulton JE. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2016; 65(23): 598-601.


(Copyright © 2016, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)






In 2013, only 27% of adolescents in grades 9-12 met the current federal guideline for aerobic physical activity (at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day*), and sex and racial/ethnic disparities in meeting the guideline exist (1). The Community Preventive Services Task Force has recommended a range of community-level evidence-based approaches(†) to increase physical activity by improving neighborhood supports for physical activity.(§) To assess the characteristics of adolescents who live in neighborhoods that are supportive of physical activity, CDC analyzed data on U.S. children and adolescents aged 10-17 years (defined as adolescents for this report) from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). Overall, 65% of U.S. adolescents live in neighborhoods supportive of physical activity, defined as neighborhoods that are perceived as safe and have sidewalks or walking paths and parks, playgrounds, or recreation centers. Adolescents who were Hispanic and non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity; who lived in lower-income households, households with less educated parents, and rural areas; or who were overweight or obese were less likely to live in neighborhoods supportive of physical activity than were white adolescents and adolescents from higher income households, with a more highly educated parent, living in urban areas, and not overweight or obese. Within demographic groups, the largest disparity in the percentage of adolescents living in these neighborhoods was observed between adolescents living in households with a family income <100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) (51%) and adolescents living in households with a family income ≥400% of the FPL (76%). Efforts to improve neighborhood supports, particularly in areas with a substantial percentage of low-income and minority residents, might increase physical activity among adolescents and reduce health disparities.

Language: en


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