Sociodemographic and Environmental Determinants of Indoor Versus Outdoor Active Play Among Children Living in the Washington, DC Area

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Sociodemographic and environmental factors play important roles in determining both indoor and outdoor play activities in children. Methods: The Built Environment and Active Play Study assessed neighborhood playability for children (7–12 y), based on parental report of their children’s active play behaviors, neighborhood characteristics, and geographic locations. Simple logistic regression modeling tested the associations between sociodemographic characteristics and the frequency of and access to venues for indoor and outdoor play. Results: Children of higher socioeconomic status were almost 3 times more likely to live more than a 30-minute walk from indoor recreational facilities compared with their less affluent peers (odds ratio [OR] = 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–6.8). Non-Hispanic black children were less likely to live more than 30 minutes from indoor facilities (OR = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.08–0.57) and more were likely to engage in indoor activity (OR = 3.40; 95% CI, 1.17–9.88) than were white children. Boys were substantially more likely to play outdoors at a playing fields compared with girls (OR = 5.37; 95% CI, 2.10–13.69). Conclusions: Findings from this study could be used to enhance indoor and outdoor activity spaces for children and to reduce disparities in access to such spaces.

Puett is with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. Huang and Montresor-Lopez are with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. Ray is with the Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. Roberts is with the Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.

Roberts (jenrob@umd.edu) is corresponding author.
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