Kim Bergeron and Lucie Lévesque
Community design can have a positive or negative influence on the physical activity level of residents. The complementary expertise of professionals from both planning and public health is needed to build active communities. The current study aimed to develop a coordinated framework for planners and public health professionals to enhance the design of active communities.
Planners and public health professionals working in Ontario, Canada were recruited to participate in a concept mapping process to identify ways they should work together to enhance the design of active communities.
This process generated 72 actions that represent collaborative efforts planners and public health professionals should engage in when designing active communities. These actions were then organized by importance and feasibility. This resulted in a coordinated action framework that includes 19 proximal and 6 distal coordinated actions for planners and public health professionals.
Implementation of the recommended actions has the potential to make a difference in community design as a way to enhance physical activity in community members. This Coordinated Action Framework provides a way to address physical inactivity from an environmental and policy standpoint.
Nathan Parker, Darran Atrooshi, Lucie Lévesque, Edtna Jauregui, Simón Barquera, Juan Lopez y Taylor and Rebecca E. Lee
Obesity is a critical problem among Mexican youth, but few studies have investigated associations among physical activity (PA) modes and anthropometrics in this population. This study examined associations among active commuting to school (ACS), sports or other organized PA, outdoor play, and body mass index (BMI) percentile and waist circumference (WC) among Mexican youth.
Parents of school children (N = 1996, ages 6 to 14 years, 53.1% female) in 3 Mexican cities reported PA participation using the (modified) fourth grade School Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey. Trained assessors measured BMI percentile and WC in person.
Parents reported that 52.3% of children engaged in ACS, 57.3% participated in sports or organized PA, and a median of 2 days in the previous week with at least 30 minutes of outdoor play. In complete case analyses (n = 857), ACS was negatively associated with BMI percentile, and outdoor play was negatively associated with WC after adjusting for school, age, sex, and income. In analyses incorporating data from multiple imputation (N = 1996), outdoor play was negatively associated with WC (all Ps < . 05).
ACS and outdoor play are favorably associated with anthropometrics and may help prevent childhood obesity in Mexico. ACS and outdoor play should be priorities for increasing youth PA in Mexico.
Alejandra Jauregui, Erica Soltero, René Santos-Luna, Lucia Hernández-Barrera, Simon Barquera, Edtna Jáuregui, Lucie Lévesque, Juan López-Taylor, Luis Ortiz-Hernández and Rebecca Lee
Mexican children often use active commuting to school (ACS). In order to maintain high levels of ACS it is important to understand correlates of ACS in this population. However, most evidence comes from high-income countries (HICs). We examined multilevel correlates of ACS in children attending public schools in 3 Mexican cities.
Information on 1191 children (grades 3 to 5) attending 26 schools was retrieved from questionnaires, neighborhood audits, and geographic information systems data. Multilevel logistic modeling was used to explore individual and environmental correlates of ACS at 400-m and 800-m buffers surrounding schools.
Individual positive correlates for ACS included age (6–8 years vs 9–11 years, odds ratio [OR] = 1.5; 6–8 years vs ≥12 years: OR = 2.1) and ≥ 6 adults at home (OR = 2.0). At the 400-m buffer, more ACS was associated with lower walkability (OR = 0.87), presence of posted speed limits (< 6% vs > 12%: OR = 0.36) and crossing aids (< 6% vs 6–20%: OR = 0.25; > 20%: OR = 0.26), as well as higher sidewalk availability (< 70% vs > 90%: OR = 4.5). Similar relationships with speed limits and crossing aids were observed at the 800m buffer.
Findings contrast with those reported in HICs, underscoring the importance of considering the local context when developing strategies to promote ACS. Future studies are needed to replicate these relationships and investigate the longitudinal impact of improving active transportation infrastructure and policies.