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 Review
Infographic: Safe Neighborhoods
Infographic: Safe Streets
Infographic: Shared Use

Active Spaces: What‘s New?

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

SA! Change Field Wars: Organized League Clashes with Neighborhood Players

Latino health soccer access equity playing field

District of Columbia

Sport is a great way to build youth leaders and boost health; however, the pay-to-play system works against low-income and minority kids. The soccer field at Harriet Tubman Elementary School (48.4% Latino), in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington, DC, had been the home of nightly pick-up games for Latinos for years, according to Rachel … Read more

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SA! Change Chicago Schools Partner with Water Agencies to Green Schoolyards

Chicago Public School District 299, Illinois

Recess Drought and Neighborhood Flooding School playgrounds had been neglected in the third largest school district in the nation, Chicago Public Schools, due in part to lack of funding as well as to the nationwide shift away from recess. In 2011, Chicago Public Schools passed a recess policy that included funding to repair and improve … Read more

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SA! Change Teachers Connect Children with Nature One Day Per Week

Latino Health Outdoor Learning

Madison Metropolitan School District, Wisconsin

Outdoor Education  As part of an outdoor education study, ten elementary teachers in Madison, Wisconsin (6.8% Latino) committed to bring their second- through fourth- grade students outside one day per week. Their outdoor study concluded with a grant-funded Environmental Education Summit through the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Teachers’ Outdoor Environmental Education Fund. The summit … Read more

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SA! Change Texas SHAC Duties Expand to Look Into Joint Use Agreements

Latino Health Shared Use


Perhaps the most significant barrier families face in preventing and reducing obesity and chronic disease is a lack of access to safe places to walk, play, and be active. In many communities, schools are the only no-cost facilities with playgrounds, tracks, pools, and sports fields. Open, shared, and joint use agreements can establish terms and conditions … Read more

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SA! Resource The Worst Cities in America to Live In

It is an undeniable fact: where you live greatly impacts how healthy you are. Many Latinos live in underserved communities with limited options for physical activity, quality health care, early childhood education, and access to healthy food options. The financial website 24/7 Wall St. recently completed research to determine the 50 worst cities to live … Read more

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SA! Change How I Walk: A Campaign to Rebrand the Word Walking

Latino health disability inclusive

United States

Walking is critical for accessibility. One-third of all American are not able to drive, either because they are too old, too young, too poor, or have some form of disability. People with disabilities are the only minority group you don’t have to be born into. Meaning, at any time, any one of us could become … Read more

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SA! Change San Antonio Schools Open Their Gyms For Summer Pilot Program

Latino Health Open Use Gym

San Antonio Independent School District, Texas

Twelve middle schools in the San Antonio Independent School District are opening the doors to their gym four days a week as a pilot program to help keep students active over the summer. Creating opportunities for kid’s to remain active over the summer is critical to build a culture of health and reduce their risk … Read more

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SA! Resource What is the Fittest City in America?

Where you live has an undeniable impact on your overall health. Lack of access to spaces for physical activity, healthy food choices, and health care options often plague those that live in low-income neighborhoods. This includes many Latino families. This confluence of conditions often lead to residents becoming overweight and/or obese and suffering from diabetes, … Read more

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SA! Change Detroit Partnership Combines Literacy & Swimming for Kids

Latino Health Swimming Pools

Detroit, Michigan

Since 2010, Detroit Swims has taught more than 5800 kids how to swim and aims to teach all kids in the Metro Detroit. Swimming is excellent for mental and physical health, as well as academic achievement, but of f the 120,000 children in the city, it’s estimated 100,000 of them can’t swim, according to one source. … Read more

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SA! Resource NRPA/Disney Play Spaces Grant Application

Latino Health physical activity

Thanks to a grant from Disney, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is expanding the Meet Me at the Park program and providing additional communities with increased access to play spaces in local parks.  Meet Me at the Park brings the magic of parks and recreation to children and families across the United States. Applicants must: Be … Read more

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SA! Resource VIDEO: A Tale of Two Zip Codes

Latino health zip matters physical activity equity inequity inequality

“When it comes to predicting how long you will live, your zip code is more important than your genetic code,” George Takei narrates in A Tale of Two Zip Codes, an animated short film by the California Endowment’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities initiative. Where you live determines your opportunities, thus your health and life expectancy. Consider … Read more

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SA! Resource 500 Cities Project: Local Data for Better Health

Latino health zip matters physical activity diabetes

In December 2016, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the CDC Foundation released the 500 Cities dataset, which contains estimates of adult chronic disease, unhealthy behaviors, and preventive care for census tracts in 500 of the largest American cities. After a day-long conference in December, 2016, to … 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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