Sandra E. Echeverria, Amiee Luan Kang, Carmen R. Isasi, Janice Johnson-Dias and Dula Pacquiao
Neighborhoods can be an important feature of the built environment influencing physical activity; however, neighborhood poverty and violence may pose significant barriers for youth physical activity. We conducted a community survey of 107 households with youth 3–12 years of age in select neighborhoods of the city of Newark, New Jersey, a highly impoverished and racially/ethnically segregated city of the United States.
The majority of sampled households did not have access to a park, and nearly 60% of youth were not engaged in a team or organized physical activity program. Hearing gunshots and seeing drug deals in the neighborhood were reported by 74% and 56%, respectively, of study participants. In adjusted regression models, a 1-unit increase in self-reported neighborhood safety was associated with perceptions that parks were safe for youth to use (OR = 1.7, CI = 1.3, 2.3) and increased odds of youth using parks (OR = 1.3, CI = 1.0, 1.6). Self-reported neighborhood violence was marginally associated with lower levels of Metabolic Equivalent (MET)-min/week of moderate PA (β = –54.25, P = .05).
To ensure national goals of increased physical activity and use of outdoor spaces, addressing the neighborhood contexts under which the most vulnerable of our youth live will be required.
Elizabeth Vásquez, Garrett Strizich, Linda Gallo, Simon J. Marshall, Gina C. Merchant, Rosenda Murillo, Frank J. Penedo, Christian Salazar, Daniela Sotres-Alvarez, Benjamin A. Shaw and Carmen R. Isasi
Chronic stress and/or lifetime traumatic stress can create a self-reinforcing cycle of unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating and sedentary behavior, that can lead to further increases in stress. This study examined the relationship between stress and sedentary behavior in a sample of Hispanic/Latino adults (N = 4244) from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study.
Stress was measured as the number of ongoing difficulties lasting 6 months or more and as lifetime exposure to traumatic events. Sedentary behavior was measured by self-report and with accelerometer. Multivariable regression models examined associations of stress measures with time spent in sedentary behaviors adjusting by potential confounders.
Those who reported more than one chronic stressor spent, on average, 8 to 10 additional minutes per day in objectively measured sedentary activities (P < .05), whereas those with more than one lifetime traumatic stressor spent (after we adjusted for confounders) 10 to 14 additional minutes in sedentary activities (P < .01) compared with those who did not report any stressors. Statistical interactions between the 2 stress measures and age or sex were not significant.
Interventions aimed at reducing sedentary behaviors might consider incorporating stress reduction into their approaches.