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Health Promot Pract. 2008 Apr;9(2):180-90. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

Physical activity influences in a disadvantaged African American community and the communities' proposed solutions.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Heath, Education, and Human Development, Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, USA.


The purpose of this assessment is to increase our understanding of how safety and environmental factors influence physical activity among African American residents living in a low-income, high-crime neighborhood and to get input from these residents about how to best design physical activity interventions for their neighborhood. Twenty-seven African American adult residents of a low-income, high-crime neighborhood in a suburban southeastern community participated in three focus groups. Participants were asked questions about perceptions of what would help them, their families, and their neighbors be more physically active. Two independent raters coded the responses into themes. Participants suggested three environmental approaches in an effort to increase physical activity: increasing law enforcement, community connectedness and social support, and structured programs. Findings suggest that safety issues are an important factor for residents living in disadvantaged conditions and that the residents know how they want to make their neighborhoods healthier.

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