The Perceived and Built Environment Surrounding Urban Schools and Physical Activity Among Adolescent Girls

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.

Key Finding:

  • More positive perceptions of the environment around their school was correlated with girls who were significantly less active. However, both measured and perceived accessibility, i.e., having a place to go within walking distance, positively related to MVPA.

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.

Introduction to the Active Living Research Supplement

  1. 1. Translating Research to Policy Through Health Impact Assessment in Clark County, Washington
  2. 2. Uneven Playing Field--Effective Strategies to Address Health Inequity Through Active Living Research
  3. 3. Using Evidence to Create Active Communities: Stories from the Field--Policy and Research with Chicago's Child Care Centers
  4. 4. Trends in Presentations of Environmental and Policy Studies Related to Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity at Society of Behavioral Medicine, 1995-2010
  5. 5. Spatial Disparities in the Distribution of Parks and Green Spaces in the USA
  6. 6. Exploring the Distribution of Park Availability, Features, and Quality Across Kansas City, Missouri by Income and Race/Ethnicity
  7. 7. Perceptions of Neighborhood Park Quality
  8. 8. Gender Differences in Self-Report Physical Activity and Park and Recreation Facility Use Among Latinos in Wake County, North Carolina
  9. 9. Beyond Distance: Children's School Travel Mode Choice
  10. 10. The Perceived and Built Environment Surrounding Urban Schools and Physical Activity Among Adolescent Girls
  11. 11. Aesthetic Amenities and Safety Hazards Associated with Walking and Bicycling for Transportation in New York City
  12. 12. Does Neighbourhood Walkability Moderate the Effects of Mass Media Communication Strategies to Promote Regular Physical Activity?
  13. 13. Individual-and Area-Level Disparities in Access to the Road Network, Subway System and a Public Bicycle Share Program on the Island of Montreal, Canada
  14. 14. Effect of Bike Lane Infrastructure Improvements on Ridership in One New Orleans Neighborhood
  15. 15. Using Google Street View to Audit the Built Environment
  16. 16. School Sport Participation Under Two School Sport Policies
  17. 17. Physical Education and Student Activity
  18. 18. District and School Physical Education Policies
  19. 19. Predictors of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) in African American Young Adolescents
  20. 20. Pathways to Outdoor Recreation, Physical Activity, and Delinquency Among Urban Latino Adolescents
  21. 21. Locations of Joint Physical Activity in Parent-Child Pairs Based on Accelerometer and GPS Monitoring