This study examined whether the relationship between perceptions of the built environment and the physical environment surrounding schools predicts levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
Twelve schools were selected to participate (primarily serving low-income African American communities); 224 girls in 6th- and 7th-grade. Ankle accelerometer data captured minutes per day in MVPA. A 10-item questionnaire captured perceptions of the neighborhood environment surrounding the school. Neighborhood built environment assessment was conducted using an audit extending one-quarter of a mile from the school.
This study focused on a very specific population, and the findings are not generalizable. However, examining the neighborhoods (as opposed to the individual level) surrounding schools will help future policy recommendations by reaching a larger number of children and families.