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.

SA! Change Call for Proposals for the 2017 National Walking Summit

Latino Health Walking Safety Walkability

United States

Walkability increases access to basic needs and services and creates vital and vibrant communities, which encourages involvement and supports a high quality of life for everyone and overcome existing disparities. Latino neighborhoods often lack safe places to walk and access to basic needs and services, thus face higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. … Read more

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SA! Change Playgrounds for an Aging Population

Latino Health Physical Activity

United States

People are more likely to remain physically active when they can do it outdoors; however, Latino kids and adults often lack safe places to walk, play, and be active. Great news! Playgrounds are not just for kids anymore. For example, the Marion Diehl Senior Center in Charlotte, N.C. (13.1% Latino) recently installed a new playground … Read more

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SA! Resource Equity in Complete Streets Policies: Fact Sheets & Research Briefs

Latino Health Walking Safety

Latino communities could particularly benefit from Complete Streets given that they are less likely to own a vehicle and have higher rates of obesity and bicycle fatalities than Whites. However, very little is known about the implementation of these policies. Researchers at the University of Chicago at Illinois examined what provisions in complete streets policies lead … Read more

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SA! Change Pittsburgh Adopts Complete Streets Policy

Latino Health bike safety physical activity

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Joining over 900 jurisdictions across the country, Pittsburgh (2.3% Latino) adopted a Complete Streets Policy in November, 2016, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative to make it safer to travel using alternative modes of transportation in order to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Complete Streets policies—including laws, resolutions, executive orders, policies, and planning and design documents—encourage and … Read more

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SA! Change Las Vegas High School Creates Fitness Studio from a Storage Room


Clark County School District, Nevada

Students at Western High School in Las Vegas (64.7% Latino), now have their very own yoga studio thanks to a unique partnership between sportswear retailer Lululemon and Create a Change Now, a Las Vegas non-profit agency. The two groups and local artists D2 came together to transform an old storage space into a state-of-the art … Read more

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SA! Change Safer Cycling Through Improved Infrastructure

Latino Health Bike Lanes Safety Equity

United States

Although bike lights, helmets, and reflective clothing are important, safe design of cycling facilities is paramount. According to an article published in the American Journal of Public Health, bicycle infrastructure can indeed help improve cycling safety and increase cycling levels, particularly when there is physical separation from fast-moving, high-volume motor vehicle traffic and better intersection … Read more

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SA! Resource Lack of Mobility Leads to Obesity

Girl hanging from monkey bars.

Millions of Americans experience limited mobility due to joint pain, which often leads to obesity and chronic disease. Latinos are burdened by higher rates of muscle and joint pain and higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Watch Movement is Life’s Start Moving Start Living documentary that raises awareness about how joint pain robs millions of Americans … Read more

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SA! Change Addressing Muscle and Joint Health Disparities

Movement is life catalyst for change

United States

Disparities in muscle and joint (musculoskeletal) pain threaten the health of the nation. Our musculoskeletal system is composed of joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support limbs, neck and back. Latinos have more severe musculoskeletal and functional limitations than Whites, thus are more likely to be inactive, obese, diabetic, and have higher incidence … Read more

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SA! Resource Toolkit: How to Start a Walking School Bus at Your School

Toolkit walking school bus

Are you a parent, educator, or community member interested in starting a walking school bus? Here is your toolkit – Step-by-Step: How to Start a Walking School Bus at Your School. Latinos often lack access to safe routes to schools, parks, or other destinations, thus are disproportionately burdened by health disparities and pedestrian fatalities. In addition to … Read more

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SA! Change CDC Releases First-ever Early Care and Education (ECE) State Indicator Report

Latino Health ECE breastfeeding physical activity policy intervention

United States

One of four U.S. kids is already overweight or obese by age 2-5, with a higher prevalence among Latino kids (30%) than white kids (21%). This is a problem because children aren’t “outgrowing” overweight and obesty. Children who are overweight when they enter kindergarten are four times more likely to be obese in 8th grade compared to … Read more

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SA! Change Morning Physical Activity Boosts Academic Success in San Fernando School

my school in motion

San Fernando, California

Physical activity is linked with academic achievement; however, Latino schools and neighborhoods often have fewer opportunities for kids to be active. Many Latino schools across the country are trying to get students more active to improve student performance and reduce health disparities. Kids who receive physical education (PE) in school are more active outside of school, according to the … Read more

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SA! Resource 10+ Research Projects About the Positive Impact Physical Activity has on Academic Performance

Latino Health, Physical Activity, Academic performance

PHIT America shares 10+ Research Projects on how physical activity improves academic performance. University of Illinois – “Physically Fit Kids Have Beefier Brains” University of Illinois Urbana – “How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains” Dartmouth – “12 minutes of exercise improves attention and reading comprehension” Purdue University – “Kids working out get better grades” Medical University of South … 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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