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Michelle C. Kegler, Iris Alcantara, Regine Haardörfer, Alexandra Gemma, Denise Ballard and Julie Gazmararian

Background:

Physical activity levels, including walking, are lower in the southern U.S., particularly in rural areas. This study investigated the concept of rural neighborhood walkability to aid in developing tools for assessing walkability and to identify intervention targets in rural communities.

Methods:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with physically active adults (n = 29) in rural Georgia. Mean age of participants was 55.9 years; 66% were male, 76% were white, and 24% were African American. Participants drew maps of their neighborhoods and discussed the relevance of typical domains of walkability to their decisions to exercise. Comparative analyses were conducted to identify major themes.

Results:

The majority felt the concept of neighborhood was applicable and viewed their neighborhood as small geographically (less than 0.5 square miles). Sidewalks were not viewed as essential for neighborhood-based physical activity and typical destinations for walking were largely absent. Destinations within walking distance included neighbors’ homes and bodies of water. Views were mixed on whether shade, safety, dogs, and aesthetics affected decisions to exercise in their neighborhoods.

Conclusions:

Measures of neighborhood walkability in rural areas should acknowledge the small size of self-defined neighborhoods, that walking in rural areas is likely for leisure time exercise, and that some domains may not be relevant.

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Nisha Botchwey, Myron F. Floyd, Keshia Pollack Porter, Carmen L. Cutter, Chad Spoon, Tom L. Schmid, Terry L. Conway, J. Aaron Hipp, Anna J. Kim, M. Renee Umstattd Meyer, Amanda L. Walker, Tina J. Kauh and Jim F. Sallis

understudied groups at higher risk of physical inactivity and obesity, including youth of minority ethnic and racial groups and all ethnic and racial groups living in rural areas. Third, the research agenda would focus on a limited number of topic areas that are promising but understudied, within categories

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Carmen D. Harris, Prabasaj Paul, Xingyou Zhang and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Fewer than 30% of U.S. youth meet the recommendation to be active > 60 minutes/day. Access to parks may encourage higher levels of physical activity.

Purpose:

To examine differences in park access among U.S. school-age youth, by demographic characteristics and urbanicity of block group.

Methods:

Park data from 2012 were obtained from TomTom, Incorporated. Population data were obtained from the 2010 U.S. Census and American Community Survey 2006–2010. Using a park access score for each block group based on the number of national, state or local parks within one-half mile, we examined park access among youth by majority race/ethnicity, median household income, median education, and urbanicity of block groups.

Results:

Overall, 61.3% of school-age youth had park access—64.3% in urban, 36.5% in large rural, 37.8% in small rural, and 35.8% in isolated block groups. Park access was higher among youth in block groups with higher median household income and higher median education.

Conclusion:

Urban youth are more likely to have park access. However, park access also varies by race/ethnicity, median education, and median household. Considering both the demographics and urbanicity may lead to better characterization of park access and its association with physical activity among youth.

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Helen J. Moore, Catherine A. Nixon, Amelia A. Lake, Wayne Douthwaite, Claire L. O’Malley, Claire L. Pedley, Carolyn D. Summerbell and Ashley C. Routen

Background:

Evidence suggests that many contemporary urban environments do not support healthy lifestyle choices and are implicated in the obesity pandemic. Middlesbrough, in the northeast of England is one such environment and a prime target for investigation.

Methods:

To measure physical activity (PA) levels in a sample of 28 adolescents (aged 11 to 14 years) and describe the environmental context of their activity and explore where they are most and least active over a 7-day period, accelerometry and Global Positioning System (GPS) technology were used. Twenty-five of these participants also took part in focus groups about their experiences and perceptions of PA engagement.

Results:

Findings indicated that all participants were relatively inactive throughout the observed period although bouts of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were identified in 4 contexts: school, home, street, and rural/urban green spaces, with MVPA levels highest in the school setting. Providing access to local facilities and services (such as leisure centers) is not in itself sufficient to engage adolescents in MVPA.

Conclusion:

Factors influencing engagement in MVPA were identified within and across contexts, including ‘time’ as both a facilitator and barrier, perceptions of ‘gendered’ PA, and the social influences of peer groups and family members.

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António Prista, Salazar Picardo, Edmundo Ribeiro, Joel Libombo and Timoteo Daca

Background:

This paper describes the procedures and development of the first Mozambican Report Card on Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents.

Methods:

Comprehensive searches for data related to indicators of physical activity (PA) were completed by a committee of physical activity and sports specialists. Grades were assigned to each indicator consistent with the process and methodology outlined by the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card model.

Results:

Seven indicators of PA were graded. The following grades were assigned: Overall Physical Activity Levels, B; Organized Sport Participation, F; Active Play, C; Active Transportation, B; Schools, C; Community and the Built Environment, F; and Government, C. Sedentary Behaviors and Family and Peers were not graded due to the lack of available information.

Conclusions:

PA behaviors of children and young people of Mozambique are positively influenced by the rural environment and are largely related to subsistence activities and outdoor play, and absence of motorized transport. In turn, urban areas are declining in active habits and opportunities due largely to rapid urbanization and lack of planning that favors active transport and play.

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António Prista, Timoteo Daca, Francisco Tchonga, Eduardo Machava, Cremildo Macucule and Edmundo Ribeiro

Background:

This article describes the procedures and development of the 2016 Mozambican Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents.

Methods:

Following the procedures adopted in 2014 for that year’s report card, comprehensive searches on new data related to indicators of physical activity (PA) were done. A committee composed of physical activity and sports specialists graded each indicator consistent with the process and methodology outlined by the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card model.

Results:

Nine indicators of PA were graded. Compared with 2014 there were several differences which were caused by changes in the country as well as a more effective evaluation from the committee. The following grades were assigned: Overall Physical Activity Levels, C; Organized Sport Participation, F; Active Play, D; Active Transportation, C; Schools, D; Community and the Built Environment, F; and Government, F. Sedentary Behaviors and Family and Peers were graded Incomplete due to the lack of available information.

Conclusions:

The decline of the PA habits in urban centers reported in 2014 are accentuated and is influencing the rural areas in several ways. At present, there is no strategy or effective action from authorities to reverse this negative trend.

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Ana Henderson and Christine R. Fry

Background:

Improving parks in low income and minority neighborhoods may be a key way to increase physical activity and decrease overweight and obesity prevalence among children at the greatest risk. To advocate effectively for improved recreation infrastructure, public health advocates must understand the legal and policy landscape in which public recreation decisions are made.

Methods:

In this descriptive legal analysis, we reviewed federal, state, and local laws to determine the authority of each level of government over parks. We then examined current practices and state laws regarding park administration in urban California and rural Texas.

Results:

We identified several themes through the analysis: (1) multiple levels of governments are often involved in parks offerings in a municipality, (2) state laws governing parks vary, (3) local authority may vary substantially within a state, and (4) state law may offer greater authority than local jurisdictions use.

Conclusions:

Public health advocates who want to improve parks need to (1) think strategically about which levels of government to engage; (2) identify parks law and funding from all levels of government, including those not typically associated with local parks; and (3) partner with advocates with similar interests, including those from active living and school communities.

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Chalchisa Abdeta, Zelalem Teklemariam, Alem Deksisa and Endashew Abera

children and youth (17% urban & 39% rural) meet 60 minutes moderate physical activity every day. Organized Sport Participation C Almost 50% of children and youth are participating in school athletics, handball, volleyball and football competitions at all levels for several times in a year. Active Play B

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Jasmin Bhawra, Priyanka Chopra, Ranjani Harish, Anjana Mohan, Krishnaveni V. Ghattu, Kumaran Kalyanaraman and Tarun R. Katapally

youth in India. Figure 1 —India’s 2018 Report Card cover. Table 1 Grades and Rationales for India’s 2018 Report Card Indicators Grades Rationale Overall Physical Activity D Approximately 25% of children and youth accumulate ≥ 60 minutes of MVPA daily. It is expected that children and youth from rural

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Dawn M. Tladi, Malebogo Monnaatsie, Sheila Shaibu, Gaonyadiwe Sinombe, Gaonyadiwe G. Mokone, Lesego Gabaitiri, Leapetswe Malete and Hubona Omphile

expert opinion. Approximately 20% of the children play actively, mostly children living in rural areas. No empirical evidence is available that addresses active play, let alone the specifics of active play (e.g., frequency, duration, type). Active Transportation C 49% of 13-15 year olds show that they