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 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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SA! Resource Fitness Trackers Save Company $1,000 Per Employee


One company saw a 46% cost reduction for employees using wearable fitness tracking devices. According to a three-year study by Springbuk Inc., a healthcare analytics firm that tracks corporate wellness efforts, an actual return on investment has been calculated for an organization using wearable fitness tracking devices; employees using wearables for two years cost $1,292 less … Read more

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SA! Change Elementary School Makes More Time for Recess And Physical Activity

Members of the Rangerville Elementary Running Rattlers Club run alongside professional marathon runner Catherine Cavazos. Source:

San Benito Consolidated Independent School District, Texas

We all know that healthy students learn better, but what can schools do to help? Rangerville Elementary School in San Benito Consolidated Independent School District in San Benito, TX (90.7% Latino), decreased the amount of time kids spend sitting at their desks and increased the amount of time kids spend being physically active by providing more time … Read more

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SA! Resource 29 New Digital Tools to Expand Access to Jobs, Schools, Affordable Housing, & Other Resources

Latino Health Digital Technology Data Tool

In March 2016, President Barack Obama launched the Opportunity Project calling for technologists, local governments, and community groups to harness technology and innovation to expand access to opportunity for all Americans (17.6% Latino). The result? Non-profits, companies, and students built 29 new digital tools-during an 8-week software development sprint-using federal and local data to help communities … Read more

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SA! Change Texas Gets Nation’s First “Dutch Junction” With Glow-on-the-Dark Bike Lanes

A bicyclist rides over the newly installed solar bicycle pathway at the Texas A&M University Campus. Source: Texas A & M Transportation Institute

College Station, Texas

Cities across the world have come up with unique methods to make it safer for kids and everyone to bicycle. Safe places to bike-and walk and play-are critical to reduce health disparities and improve Latino and all kid’s overall health and wellbeing. In College Station, Texas (14% Latino) the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M designed a … Read more

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SA! Change Washington State Get’s it’s First Bike Playground

Bicycle latino health physical activity equity safety

King County, Washington

When Cascade Bicycle Club in King County, Washington (9.5% Latino), found out about a grant opportunity in early 2015, they jumped at the chance to build their youth and family-oriented programming. Cascade Bicycle Club’s mission is to improve lives through bicycling. Physical activity, like bicycling, is critical to improve overall health and wellbeing for Latino and all … Read more

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SA! Resource Case Studies: Building a Culture of Health in Texas

its time texas shift in culture

Making healthy choices is complex. In this digital age, people are bombarded by conflicting health messages and face social and environmental barriers to carry out the most basic essentials of healthy lifestyles-eating healthy and being physically active. Latinos face added barriers to making healthy choice due to lack of access to healthy food and safe places … Read more

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SA! Resource Making Strides: State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communitie

Walking Latino health biking

How supportive is your state of walking, bicycling, and physical activity? The Safe Routes to School National Partnership working with the YMCA of the USA, developed Making Strides: State Report Cards to provide a snapshot of how supportive each state is of walking, bicycling, and physical activity for children and adults as of 2016. Physical activity, like walking … Read more

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SA! Resource Application for 2016 Every Body Walk! Micro Grants

Walking Latino Health

America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative are excited to announce the second year of Micro Grant Funding. This program will award grantees up to $1,500.00 for projects related to increasing walking and walkability. walking and walkabilty can help to bridge community divides and overcome existing disparities. Read why, according to the Surgeon General’s Call … Read more

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SA! Resource Bike Lanes are a Sound Public Health Investment

Latino health cycle bike bicycle

Researchers evaluated the cost-effectiveness of investments in bike lanes in New York and found that the return on investment is far better than many preventive approaches in medicine, like dialysis or HIV/AIDS screening and treatment. According to the new study out of the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, every $1,297 invested in bike lanes provided … Read more

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SA! Change Walmart and YMCA Help Shoppers Count Steps from Parking Lot


United States

When it comes to good health, every step counts-literally. New Jersey Healthy Communities Network in 2016 awarded $860,000 to the Sussex County YMCA and 43 other organizations to support environmental and policy change initiatives promoting healthy eating and active living, according to one source. As part of this grant, in Franklin, New Jersey (7.5% Latino), … Read more

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SA! Resource Tips from 7 Experts on School-Community Collaboration

Swimming Latino Health Equity

Seventy-three percent of parents report that their child’s afterschool program is located in a public school building, according to the Afterschool Alliance. However, Latino kids in underserved communities have limited options for healthy afterschool programs, which is part of the reason they are more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers. Schools and … 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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