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! Resource 19 Evidence-Based Strategies for Recess

Latino Health Physical Activity Recess School

Recess can help kids get their 60 minutes of recommended daily physical activity to reduce their risk of developing lifelong chronic diseases, like heart disease, and diabetes, and to improve their academic performance and mental health. Unfortunately, Latino kids have fewer opportunities before, after, and during school for physical activity than white kids. The Centers for … Read more

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SA! Change APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge

Latino Health Walking

United States

Walking is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health! Unfortunately many Latino families lack access to safe places to walk and play, thus face health disparities. The America Public Health Association is hosting a billion mile challenge to encourage everyone to log some steps and to start the conversation about designing … Read more

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SA! Resource Soul of the Community Survey Research Brief

Latino Health Physical Activity Equity

Perceptions of place impact behavior, thus health. Think of specific places, like neighborhoods, sidewalks, and parks; specific physical activity behaviors like walking, playing, and biking; and specific health issues, like heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Latino children often lack access-both real and perceived-to safe, available places to be physically active, thus their mental, physical, and emotional … Read more

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SA! Resource 6 Reasons Why Walking is the Daily Brain Medicine We Really Need

Latino health walking

In addition to reducing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, 13 types of cancer, and numerous other lifelong health complications, physical activity, like walking, also boosts your mood, and improves academic performance, creativity, and your memory. Physical activity plays a critical role in reducing health disparities among Latinos because they face disproportionately more barriers to … Read more

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SA! Change Bipartisan Approval in Congress for the National Park Service Centennial Act

Latino Health Parks Physical Activity

United States

The National Parks Service is $12 billion behind in needed repairs to park infrastructure, such as deteriorating trails, buildings, and structures in our national parks. In December 2016, the House and the Senate approved the National Park Service Centennial Act (H.R. 4680) to help address the $12 billion maintenance backlog by leveraging federal funds with private … Read more

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SA! Change The Healthiest Cities in the U.S. for Latinos

Fitness in the Park instructor teaching yoga at the Totally Awesome 80’s Fitnessthon & 5K Fit Pass 2.0 KickOff Event in June, 2014. Source: Michael Baldwin.

Boston, Massachusetts

Do you live in one of the countries healthiest cities? More and more cities are recognizing the importance building a culture of health for their citizens. Many have added built environment features, such as improved walkways and bike lanes for people to add more activity into their daily lives. Increasing access to green spaces, such … Read more

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SA! Resource Bike/Ped Projects Create 46% More Jobs Than Road-Only Projects

Latino Health Physical Activity Sidewalks Bike Lanes Walking Solar

Our nation is facing high rates of Latino childhood obesity, unsustainable dependence on carbon-based energy, and high unemployment. Beyond the known health and environmental benefits of sidewalks and bike lanes, what are the employment impacts of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure? A 2011 study compares 58 projects from transportation and public works departments from 11 cities and found … Read more

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SA! Resource Beyond Safe Routes: Shared Use Resolution

Latino Health Physical Activity Shared Use

A growing body of evidence shows that children who are physically active are better learners. Latino and all children are more physically active when they have access to safe places to walk and play. Join organizations like, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, American Heart Association, Boys and Girls Club of America, KaBoom!, National League of … Read more

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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, in particular, could benefit from Complete Streets given that they are less likely to own a vehicle, have higher rates of obesity, and fewer 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 … 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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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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