Assessment of Town and Park Characteristics Related to Physical Activity in the Lower Mississippi Delta
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Assessment of Town and Park Characteristics Related to Physical Activity in the Lower Mississippi Delta

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      Prev Chronic Dis
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      Introduction Our objective was to determine aspects of the built environment that may have contributed to the low levels of physical activity reported in both the gestational and postnatal periods by women participating in a diet and physical activity intervention in the rural Lower Mississippi Delta. Methods The built environments of 12 towns were measured by using the Rural Active Living Assessment tools and the Community Park Audit Tool. Correlations between town assessment scores and town size variables were computed by using Kendall τ coefficient. The street distance from a participant’s home address to the nearest park was computed by using network analysis in ArcGIS. Results Rural Active Living Assessment scores were low with mean values between 0% (town policy) and 68% (parks and playgrounds) of the highest possible scores. The mean (standard deviation) number of parks per town was 2.6 (3.2), and 55% of the 31 parks were in the 2 largest towns. Most parks (87%) had a single amenity while 1 park had more than 4 amenities. Distance from a participant’s home to the nearest park ranged from less than 0.1 to 8.8 miles (mean [standard deviation], 1.2 [1.8]). Conclusion These 12 Lower Mississippi Delta towns scored low on assessments of physical environment features and amenities, town characteristics, and programs and policies associated with physical activity in rural communities. To increase the physical activity levels of rural residents, it may be necessary to first improve the built environment in which they live.
    • Source:
      Prev Chronic Dis. 16
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