Active living environment assessments in four rural Latino communities.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Preventive medicine reports, Volume 2, p.818-23 (2015)

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: Latinos and rural residents are less active and have a greater prevalence of overweight/obesity compared with their non-Latino white and urban counterparts. The objective of this study was to assess the active living environment in four rural, predominantly Latino communities.

METHODS: Assessments were taken using the Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) in four rural predominantly Latino communities in Central Washington from September-November 2013. Street Segment Assessments of town center, thoroughfare, neighborhood and school zones were assessed for features related to walkability. Physical activity amenities, programs and policies in each town were assessed. Scores were generated for amenities, programs and policies. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and logistic regression.

RESULTS: A total of 103 segments were assessed. Sidewalks in good condition were present in 32% of segments and shoulders in 44% of segments. Half of street segments were rated as walkable. Parks and playgrounds were available; however, half of these were rated in poor condition. All four districts offered after school physical activity programming but only two had a late bus option.

CONCLUSIONS: These four rural towns have some policies, programming and infrastructure in place that support active living. The information from the RALA can be used to inform program and policy development to enhance physical activity in these rural communities.