Background: Although the active transportation (AT) indicator received an F grade on the 2016 US Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, this AT assessment excluded public transportation. An objective of the Built Environment and Active Play Study was to assess youth AT, including public transportation, among Washington, DC area children in relation to parental perceptions of neighborhood built environment (BE) variables. Methods: Questionnaires were mailed to 2000 parents of children aged 7–12 years. AT to school (ATS) was assessed with the question: “In an average school week, how many days does your child use each of the following ways to get to and from school? (a) Walk; (b) Bike; (c) Car; (d) Bus or Metro.” Parental perceived BE data were obtained through questionnaire items, and logistic regression was conducted to determine if BE variables were associated with youth ATS. Results: The sample included 144 children (50% female; average age 9.7 years; 56.3% white; 23.7% African American; 10.4% Asian American). Over 30% used ATS-public transportation 5 days per week, and nearly 13% used ATS-walking daily. Parental perceived BE variables significantly predicted youth ATS-walking and ATS-public transportation. Conclusions: ATS-public transportation is common among Washington, DC area youth, and parental perceptions of BE can significantly predict ATS.
Jennifer D. Roberts, Lindsey Rodkey, Rashawn Ray and Brian E. Saelens
Robin C. Puett, Dina Huang, Jessica Montresor-Lopez, Rashawn Ray and Jennifer D. Roberts
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.