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J Community Health. 2011 Feb;36(1):132-40. doi: 10.1007/s10900-010-9290-1.

Utility of the physical activity resource assessment for child-centric physical activity intervention planning in two urban neighborhoods.

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Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. downs Blvd, MDC Box 56, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Children's physical activity (PA) may be determined, in part, by environmental influences such as access to diverse and safe places to play. As part of the development of a community-based PA program, a PA asset assessment was conducted in two low-income urban neighborhoods that support elementary schools serving minority youth. Resources were rated using an adapted version of the Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA), a multi-dimensional instrument that rates various venues on their features, amenities, and incivilities. Seventy-one child-centric venues (e.g., parks, playgrounds, community centers, sports facilities, fitness centers, etc.) were assessed within a three-mile radius of each school. Community member feedback via interviews with parent-child dyads revealed issues (e.g., bullying) not captured by the PARA that can influence venue use. Whereas the PARA can be a useful needs assessment and program planning tool for community-based PA programs, supplementing PARA data with community-based input may reduce contextual error in program development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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