Banner: Active Spaces

Latino kids in underserved communities have limited options for physical activity, which is part of the reason they are more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers.

How can physical activity be part of their daily experience?

The best ways to improve access to and safe use of “active spaces”— gyms, athletic fields, parks, and playgrounds—include: adopting shared use agreements; improving neighborhood characteristics, such as repairing sidewalks, installing street lights, and improving park maintenance; creating safer routes to active spaces; and using marketing and technology to change Latino kids’ physical activity patterns.

Download Our New 2016 Active Spaces Research Review, Issue Brief, and Infographics!

Research_reviewResearch Review
Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.50.37 AMInfographic: Safe Neighborhoods
Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.53.37 AMInfographic: Safe Streets
Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.54.53 AMInfographic: Shared Use

Active Spaces: What‘s New?

See SA! Changes SA! Resources Salud Heroes in this topic.

Salud Hero City Park Workers Create ‘Health’ Scavenger Hunt in San Antonio

Aqua Zumba at San Pedro Pool is the Fit Pass hot spot on Wednesday evenings. Source: SA Parks Fitness Twitter page

San Antonio, TX

City parks worker Michael Baldwin saw rampant physical inactivity and disease in San Antonio, Texas (68% Latino). To help, he wanted to attract people to existing health programs and services in city parks. Baldwin and his team, through local collaborations, developed Fit Pass, a city-wide scavenger hunt for wellness and physical activities. People can download … Read more

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SA! Change Every Body Walk! Collaborative Social Justice Toolkit

Photo Source: Active Living by Design blog

United States

Latinos make up 15.1% of the population, yet account for 18.6% of pedestrian fatalities. Latinos face an age-adjusted pedestrian fatality rate 43% higher than whites, according to Dangerous by Design 2104. When working to promote walkability and create policies that promote walking, it is important to engage, empower and inform community members, organizations, and elected … Read more

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SA! Change 2016 RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winner: Santa Monica

santa monica coh winner girl

Santa Monica, California

Data-driven policy is winning in Santa Monica, Calif. (13.1 %Latino). Santa Monica is committed to improving resident’s health by looking at housing, transportation, parks, and youths, thus was one of seven communities to receive the 2016 RWJF Culture of Health Prize. In 2012, Santa Monica developed a Wellbeing Index to measure what was hampering or helping … Read more

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SA! Resource 2017 National Walking Summit Call for Proposals

Family walking sidewalk neighborhood in

Latinos and Latino communities could benefit from the co-benefits walking and walkability can provide to an individual and community. Walking and walkability are cornerstones of vital and vibrant communities, communities which make safety a priority, provide access to basic needs and services, value health equity and historical places, cultivate sustainable economic growth, and promote civic engagement. The … Read more

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SA! Resource Video: Children Have Lost the Freedom to Roam


Since 1969, the percentage of children walking and bicycling to school has plummeted from almost 50 percent to about 13 percent in 2013. In #4 of their StreetFacts video series, Streetfilms explores how children have lost the freedom to roam because many families drive their children to school, even when schools are close to home. Streetfilms produces … Read more

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SA! Change Miami-Dade County Recognized In Building A Culture of Health!

A woman and child read together at the Connect Familias center in Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. (Photo Source: RWJF,

Miami-Dade County, Florida

Miami-Dade (66.8% Latino) has a culturally diverse population of over 2.7 million people, but nearly one in three children are living in poverty and in turn dealing with higher health disparities. In fact, various studies, including one from Havard T.H. Chan, has shown that income level and where you live can impact the health and diet of families. … Read more

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SA! Resource AHA Calls Out for Texas Kid’s Health

Photo of group of health advocates standing on the capitol steps. ( Photo source: AHA)

According to the newly released State of Obesity report, Texas it the 10th most obese state in the country. Now the American Heart Association along with many other organizations are asking parents, teachers, and health advocates to step up for kids health and take action. AHA is asking anyone who is interested in supporting kids in … Read more

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SA! Change Our Zeal for Child Safety Might be Misdirected

child safety seat

United States

There is no doubt people are zealous about children’s safety; we are zealous about children’s health. What if these two groups of enthusiasts worked together? They would reduce time spent riding in a car: To reduce unintentional injury and death due to motor vehicle crashes; and To increase time spent walking and biking to reduce obesity, … Read more

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SA! Change Senior Cheer Squad Proves You are Never too Old to Play


Durham, North Carolina

Louise Gooche, a retired nursing professor and director of nursing education from Durahm Technical college, founded Durham Divas ‘n Dude, a senior citizen cheer squad in February 2004. Gooche was an aerobics instructor at the YMCA of the Triangle, in Raleigh, North Carolina (10.7% Latino). After seeing senior cheerleaders perform at the North Carolina Senior Games, Gooche posted a … Read more

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SA! Resource Fact Sheet: Safe Routes to Healthy Food

Safe routes to healthy food

Everyone needs a safe and reliable way to get to the place where they obtain foods – ideally healthy foods. However, transportation is a major barrier to accessing healthy food, particularly for Latinos. Read about how traffic safety in the U.S. lags far behind other countries here. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership created … Read more

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SA! Change Columbia Parks and Recreation Makes it Easy for Residents to Flag Problems

columbia missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Residents in Columbia, Missouri (3.4% Latino) can now alert Parks and Recreation staff to maintenance and other issues through an online tool. Park and trail users can report a problem, pin the location, and upload a photo to an interactive map here. They can also follow their report to track progress. Access to safe parks plays a huge … Read more

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SA! Change The World’s First Fully Accessible Water Park Under Construction in San Antonio

Morgans wonderland

San Antonio, Texas

The first ever water park for people with special needs is under construction in San Antonio, TX (68% Latino) and should open in spring of 2017. Gordon Hartman, CEO of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, opened Mogran’s Wonderland, an amusement park with special-needs individuals in mind in 2010. Since 2013, he has been working with water park consultants, … Read more

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SA! Change President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Launches #0to60 Campaign!

#0to60 Tug Life

United States

In partnership with the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and in honor of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition 60th Anniversary, the Council and Foundation released a mobile-ready website and #0to60 app to inspire a healthier lifestyle for individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.. There are countless benefits of living a … Read more

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SA! Change DOT Asks You to Explore 2015 Traffic Fatalities Data

traffic fatalities US

United States

On August 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released an open data set containing detailed, anonymized information about nationwide traffic fatalities. This release is not business as usual. The DOT is requesting public input to help them understand what the data are revealing in communities across the country. Some private sector firms and academic institutions are … Read more

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Public Hub Hub Tree: Salud America!

Salud America! is a national online network of researchers, community group leaders, decision-makers, and members of the public working together to support healthy policy and environmental changes that can help reverse obesity among Latino children.

The network, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a project of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Policies, comments, external links, and contributed stories and images are not affiliated with Salud America!, RWJF, or The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by these organizations.

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