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Institute of medicine (US) and also National research study Council (US) Committee on Childhood excessive weight Prevention plot for neighborhood Governments; Parker L, Burns AC, Sanchez E, editors. Local government Actions to prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington (DC): nationwide Academies push (US); 2009.


Institute of medication (US) and also National study Council (US) Committee on Childhood weight problems Prevention action for regional Governments; Parker L, Burns AC, Sanchez E, editors.

Research shows that a sedentary way of life is a predictor the overweight and obesity (Must and also Tybor, 2005). Physical task is an important not just for optimal weight, but additionally for physical and also cognitive advancement in childhood. Existing recommendations are for kids to communicate in physical task at least 60 minutes every day (HHS and USDA, 2008); this includes any kind of physical activity accumulated throughout the day, such together playing, walking to school, and exercise. However, many youngsters are not that active. A 2002 Centers for condition Control and also Prevention (CDC) survey discovered that 61.5 percent of kids aged 9–13 did not participate in any organized physical activity during their nonschool hours and also that 22.6 percent did not connect in any free-time physical task (CDC, 2003). This findings reflect marked increases during the previous several years in sedentary tasks of everyday living amongst both children and also adults (Brownson et al., 2005). This an ext sedentary way of living is the an outcome of enhanced reliance on modern technology and labor-saving devices, such as usage of automobiles fairly than wade or biking, attributable in component to neighborhood designs the favor this mode of transport; usage of washing machines and also dishwashers in the household; less physical activity in the workplace since of computers and automated equipment; boosted use that television and computers for entertainment and leisure activities; and also use that elevators and also escalators rather than stairs. In addition, enhanced concern about crime has reduced the likelihood of the end playing; and decreased walking and bicycling and increased control in solution to community style that favors dare (Goran and also Treuth, 2001). These activities reduce the need for day-to-day physical activity or do it more complicated to it is in physically active.


Aspects of what researchers and also planners contact the “built environment” space important determinants of physical activity for both children and also adults and also therefore of rates of childhood obesity (Black and Macinko, 2008; Booth et al., 2005). The constructed environment encompasses all of the artificial elements that the physical environment, consisting of buildings, infrastructure, and other physical elements created or modification by people (e.g., sidewalks, streets, trails, bicycle lanes, parks, playgrounds), as well as the practical use, arrangement in space, and aesthetic attributes of these facets (e.g., zoning, community design, mixed-use development) (IOM, 2005). Handy (2005) categorizes these elements as follows:

Land use—the location and intensity the activities, consisting of residential, commercial, and also institutional activities, and also the design and arrangement the the buildings and sites that house them.
Transportation systems—the physics layout and also design that roads, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and also other transport infrastructure, and their function and appearance.

The “social environment” is simply as important to physical activity. It includes such facets as family, friends, ar of employment, home, culture, socioeconomic status, and neighborhood. The society environment likewise encompasses ar reputation, characterized by perceived safety and social nuisances, and social support and also social resources (Black and also Macinko, 2008). For example, parental modeling of and also support because that participation in physical activity (e.g., by offering transportation and purchasing equipment) has actually been connected with greater levels of physical task in children (Hoefer et al., 2001; Sallis et al., 2000).

However, the environment in i beg your pardon some kids live often makes it difficult to interact in physical activity. Many communities lack open space, parks, entertain facilities, or sporting activities fields. Community features that encourage physical activity are consistently linked with lessened weight. Among these factors, blended land use, access to fitness facilities, and also neighborhood “walkability” have all been connected to greater levels of physical task and lower body weight (Black and also Macinko, 2008). These space all aspects of the built environment.

The developed environment’s influence on childhood excessive weight is identified by its effect on physical activity levels and also also, as the previous chapter explains, its result on healthy eating. It deserve to promote or deter physics activity, such as organized energetic recreation, energetic commuting, and unstructured play. Various facets of the developed environment impact different varieties of physical activity in a variety of ways. For example, the distance from house to school or to the soccer field is a key factor in whether youngsters walk or bicycle come these areas rather than being moved (Handy and Tal, 2008; Kerr et al., 2006; McDonald, 2007). Safety and security along the route, even if it is from traffic or “stranger danger,” is also important (Carver et al., 2008; Davison and also Lawson, 2006). The design of areas influences the end play outside of the college day. Accessibility to parks and other safe locations to play, for example, is associated with more frequent outdoor play (Davison and also Lawson, 2006; Mota et al., 2005). If there room safe and appealing opportunities to walk, bicycle, play, or otherwise move outdoors, thus creating an setting that promotes physics activity, children are most likely to interact in much more physical activity.


A variety of the aspects that constitute advantageous built and social environments—such as great sidewalks, low-speed streets, attractive greenspaces, adjacent trails, easily available recreation centers, civilization visible walking or playing outdoors, and low crime rates—often are characteristic of communities with higher socioeconomic standing (SES). Lower-SES areas often must attend to the an unfavorable aspects of the environment, such as busy through streets, poor-quality bicycle and also pedestrian infrastructure, dilapidated parks and also playgrounds, and crime, that deter physical activity (Black and Macinko, 2008; Booth et al., 2005). In enhancement to short SES, a high concentration that minority populaces is a predictor for such disparities. Areas with large Hispanic and also African American populations, because that example, are less likely to have actually public parks and also private recreation framework (Gordon-Larsen et al., 2006). Absence of availability of infrastructure that enable and encourage physical task may, in part, define the reduced levels of task observed amongst low-SES and also minority neighborhoods (Powell et al., 2006), as may hazardous problems such together crime (Seefeldt et al., 2002). Therefore, as disputed in thing 3, local governments should make low-SES and also minority communities a priority as soon as implementing the action steps outlined in this thing to attend to disparities in the built and social environments.

THE function OF LOCAL federal governments IN fostering PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Local governments have an important role to play in supporting and promoting physics activity, in large part with their affect on the constructed environment, however through other means as well. Local governments, specifically cities, have significant power over the kind of the built environment (Handy and Clifton, 2007). Through basic plans and also zoning codes, cities and other local federal government entities do decisions on land use policies and also plan and design street layouts and also locations, including requirements for sidewalks and also allowable street widths. They likewise own and also maintain community parks and also playgrounds, and in many cases operate and also maintain various other recreational facilities. Lock can set requirements for developer to administer sidewalks, walking and biking trails, and also greenspace in brand-new developments, as well as invest public money in enhance existing areas. With these actions, local federal governments create—or restrict—opportunities for physical activity for children.

Local federal governments can support physical task in other means as well. Parks and also recreation departments, because that example, frequently run sporting activities leagues or sell dance, gymnastics, or other active classes. Plenty of cities have functioned with college districts to promote walking and bicycling to school through Safe courses to college programs and related initiatives. More general efforts to enhance traffic safety and enforce traffic regulations make roads safer for youngsters to walk, bicycle, and play. Together programs help ensure that children take advantage of avenues afforded by the developed environment and compensate for its deficiencies. Furthermore, local governments can provide support and also resources to local institutions that want to create healthy environments.

The physical task strategies and also actions recommended by the committee for consideration by local federal governments are organized approximately three goals:


Encourage physics activity.


Decrease sedentary behavior.


Raise awareness about the importance of enhancing physical activity.

For each goal, several strategies and action steps room provided, and examples of how some neighborhoods have enforced these actions. This list of goals and also the techniques and action steps disputed under each space not prioritized, but, as stated in the introduction, particular action procedures are bolded together being many promising. Local neighborhood leaders, members, and also policy equipments will be in the best position to decide which techniques and action steps will certainly be many feasible and appropriate for the needs and also circumstances of their community. The decision will be based mostly on such determinants as resources, priorities, leadership, and demographics. Adhering to are the goals, strategies, and action steps pertained to physical activity.

Strategy 1: developed Environment

Encourage walking and bicycling for transportation and recreation through enhancements in the constructed environment.


Walking and bicycling, whether for transport or recreation, are essential sources that physical activity for children as well as adults. Walking, in particular, has actually been described by health and wellness researchers as close to perfect practice (Lee and also Buchner, 2008). The constructed environment has actually a far-reaching effect top top walking and bicycling. Deficiencies in walking and also bicycling infrastructure and also streets designed because that vehicles create obstacles to walking and also bicycling. Ar residents are less likely come walk or bicycle for transportation or recreation if streets carry out not encompass sidewalks and also safe crossings (Badland and also Schofield, 2005; Davison and Lawson, 2006; Saelens et al., 2003). Citizens of lower-income communities are much more likely to face difficulties posed by streets and also sidewalks in disrepair, lacking or clogged sidewalks and poorly marked crossings. Excessively broad streets encourage speeding, in order to increasing dangers to pedestrians and also bicyclists. Web traffic volume and also speed space negatively associated with children’s participation in physical activity (Davison and also Lawson, 2006). Countless rural roads, where speed limits are high, absence shoulders that can accommodate a pedestrian or cyclist. Land usage patterns also deter walking and bicycling. Neighborhood residents are less likely to walk or bike for transport if ranges to destinations such as schools, recreation, and also shopping are much (Saelens and Handy, 2008).

Improvements come these facets of the constructed environment have the right to encourage walking and bicycling. Research mirrors that older, timeless neighborhoods v a mix the uses and also well-connected street networks support physical task as occupants walk or ride your bicycle to nearby destinations (Badland and also Schofield, 2005; open minded et al., 2004). Building and maintaining sidewalks and safe street crossings appears to hold some promise in promoting physical activity in communities (Lee and Moudon, 2008). Sidewalks may even influence obesity (Booth et al., 2005). Infrastructure improvements in the vicinity the schools can increase the variety of children that walk and bicycle (Boarnet et al., 2005). Less experienced pedestrians and bicyclists might feel more comfortable on trails and also paths be separate from car traffic. Community-scale and street-scale metropolitan design and land usage policies and practices; proximity of residential areas to stores, jobs, schools and recreation areas; continuity and also connectivity that sidewalks and also streets; and aesthetic and safety facets of the physical environment can all have an impact on physical activity rates (CDC, 2006b). Local governments can make these improvements through numerous different actions, some used to brand-new development and also some to retrofitting present areas, as detailed in the boxes below. When a comprehensive approach is many effective, it’s vital to keep in mind that an easy changes, even a brand-new coat of repaint on a crosswalk, can have an influence on physical task in a community.

Adopt a pedestrian and bicycle master setup to construct a long-term vision because that walking and also bicycling in the community and guide implementation.
Plan, build, and maintain a network that sidewalks and also street crossings that creates a safe and comfortable wade environment and also that connects come schools, parks, and also other destinations.
Plan, build, and also retrofit roads so regarding reduce auto speeds, accommodate bicyclists, and improve the go environment.
Plan, build, and also maintain a well-connected network of off-street trails and paths for pedestrians and also bicyclists.
Collaborate with college districts and also developers come build new schools in locations main to residential areas and away from greatly trafficked roads.
Develop a program to to fill gaps in the sidewalk network, particularly on routes close to schools, transit stops, and retail.
Establish an intersection/pedestrian cross retrofit regime to do it much easier for pedestrians come cross roads safely.
Revise subdivision ordinances or other codes to call for sidewalks and also safe pedestrian crossings in all brand-new developments.
Revise city/county password to call for short, well-connected block or a minimum number of intersections to carry out direct connections in between destinations.
Establish a website traffic calming program, specifically in neighborhoods negatively affected by speeding, to slow-moving traffic and also improve safety and also comfort for every users.
Reduce the number of lanes through a “road diet” program on roads with 4 or much more lanes where web traffic volumes can be regulated in 2 or three lanes.
Establish a routine to create slow, shared street environments, well-known as “home zones,” for residential roads with low web traffic volumes.
Look for methods to develop or expand path/trail networks, e.g., rails-to-trails projects.
Amend the land breakthrough code to need developers to dedicate land for and/or develop trails and also paths that connect to the existing network the trails and also paths.
Adopt zoning codes the support greater density and mixed-use advance around community centers and transit stations.
Establish programs and incentives the encourage developer to fill in older, underused components of the community with housing, supermarkets, and also other services.
Modify land usage plans and advancement codes to call for that new developments have mixed-use, higher density ar centers v schools, parks, and also retail in ~ walking street of housing.

Retrofit: change of infrastructure and facilities in existing locations of the ar rather 보다 the provision of infrastructure and facilities in brand-new areas of development.

Strategy 2: Programs because that Walking and Biking

Promote program that support walking and also bicycling because that transportation and recreation.


Local federal governments can encourage inhabitants to be an ext physically active by creating programs that increase safety, carry out education, and also otherwise facilitate walking and also bicycling. Viewed safety has actually a far-reaching effect on walking because that both children and adults (Carver et al., 2008; Cleland et al., 2008; Weir et al., 2006). Crime has actually an impact on physical activity as well (Ferreira et al., 2007; Gordon-Larsen et al., 2000). Providing kids with a safe setting in i m sorry they can walk or bicycle come school can increase physics activity. Kids who walk or bicycle to institution have greater daily levels of physical activity and far better cardiovascular fitness 보다 do children who perform not actively commute to school (Davison et al., 2008). Riding a bicycle at the very least two or more days throughout the main is associ ated with a decreased likelihood of gift overweight during childhood (Dudas and also Crocetti, 2008). Accessibility to bicycles and safety tools are crucial precursors to for sure bicycling. Transit users have greater levels of physical task owing come walking come transit stops (Zheng, 2008). Program that assistance walking and bicycling frequently require partnerships v other establishments or agencies.

Collaborate with schools to develop and implement a Safe routes to school program to boost the variety of children for sure walking and also bicycling come schools.
Improve accessibility to bicycles, helmets, and also related devices for lower-income families, for example, with subsidies or fix programs.
Promote raised transit usage through diminished fares for children, families, and also students, and improved business to schools, parks, recreation centers, and also other household destinations.

Recreational activities such as playing on a playground or shoot hoops are crucial source that physical activity for children. Kids who spend more time outdoors have greater levels of physical activity (Sallis et al., 2000). Access to neighborhood parks may increase levels the physical activity and mitigate time invested in sedentary habits at residence (Floriani and also Kennedy, 2008; Kaczynskl and Henderson, 2008). Children are less likely to communicate in to chat physical task if parks or playgrounds room unavailable, in disrepair, or room not accessible by safe paths (Grow et al., 2008; Kaczynskyl and Henderson, 2008). This is particularly true in higher-density lower-income areas that to be built prior to the facility of park acreage requirements, where much more residents room living in closer proximity to one another, and also where publicly budgets may be inadequate to sheathe maintenance requirements (Day, 2006). Authorized in athletic tasks is another means for youngsters to rise physical task and possibly lower body load (Bélanger et al., 2009; Elkins et al., 2004; Weintraub et al., 2008), as is increasing accessibility to recreation framework (Baker et al., 2008; Sallis and Glanz, 2009).

Build and maintain parks and playgrounds that room safe and attractive because that playing, and also in close proximity come residential areas.
Improve accessibility to public and also private recreational infrastructure in neighborhoods with restricted recreational options through diminished costs, raised operating hours, and development of culturally proper activities.
Create after-school task programs, e.g., run classes, city-sponsored sports, looked after play, and other publicly or privately supported energetic recreation.
Collaborate with institution districts and also other establishments to create joint use of facilities agreements enabling playing fields, playgrounds, and recreation centers come be used by ar residents when schools are closed; if necessary, embrace regulatory and legislative plans to address liability issues that could block implementation.
Create and promote youth athletic leagues and also increase access to fields, through special emphasis on income and gender equity.
Adopt a Parks Master plan to develop a permanent vision because that parks and aid prioritize implementation.
Develop or review park architecture standards to develop minimums for amount the park land every resident, types of play facilities for children, etc.
Establish a program to identify small vacant parcels that deserve to be converted to bag parks, especially in densely populated, older neighborhoods.
Amend the land breakthrough code to call for developers come dedicate land for and/or build parks and also playgrounds.
Consider put in order playground equipment that is weather-proof and vandalism-resistant and also permits a selection of individual and also group fitness activities.

Strategy 4: program Physical Activity

Promote policies that develop physical activity into everyday routines.


Building physical activity into daily routines provides physical task automatic by do the active an option the default choice (Yancey, 2007). This is particularly important since individuals most in need of boosted physical task are the the very least likely to pick to interact in physics activity. Ideologies such together point-of-decision prompts to encourage use of stairs deserve to increase physical activity in places frequented by kids (CDC, 2006b). Transforms in institutional practices and the developed environment the structurally integrate physical task into routines can increase automatically physical task and are vital for extensive activity-promoting society norm readjust (Bower et al., 2008; Donnelly et al., 2009; IOM, 2006; Lara et al., 2008).

Institute regulatory policies mandating minimum play space, physics equipment, and duration of beat in preschool, after-school, and child treatment programs.
Develop worksite policies and practices that construct physical task into routines (for example, exercise breaks at a details time that day and in meetings or walking meetings). Target worksites with high percentages that youth employees and also government-run and also -regulated worksites.
Create incentives for remote parking and also drop-off area and/or disincentives for adjacent parking and also drop-off zones at schools, publicly facilities, purchase malls, and also other destinations.
Improve stairway access and appeal, especially in areas frequented through children.


Strategy 5: display screen Time

Promote plans that mitigate sedentary display time.


Every day, 8- come 18-year-olds invest an mean of four hours watching TV, videos, DVDs, and prerecorded shows; simply over one hour top top the computer; and around 50 minutes playing video games (Roberts et al., 2005). Research reflects that reducing screen time to reduce the likelihood of gift overweight (Jackson et al., 2009). According the American Academy the Pediatrics, youngsters should limit total screen time to 2 hrs or less per day (Bar-On et al., 2001). Kids that meet this recommendation and meet physical task recommendations are least likely to be overweight (Laurson et al., 2008). Behavioral interventions come reduce screen time have the right to have a positive result on weight problems (CDC, 2006a).

Action Steps
Adopt regulatory policies limiting display screen time in preschool and also after-school programs.

GOAL 3: advanced AWARENESS about THE prominence OF enhancing PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Strategy 6: Media and Social Marketing

Develop a society marketing project that emphasizes the multiple services for children and families of sustained physical activity.


Media have the right to be a an essential element to increase awareness and motivation and have the right to be provided to promote physical activity, decrease sedentary task and come raise awareness the weight as a wellness issue. Evidence says that community-wide projects to increase physical activity can be effective (CDC, 2006b). High-frequency television and radio advertising, and also signage may stimulate improvements in mindsets toward walking actions (Beaudoin et al., 2007). The national VERB project is an example of a social marketing campaign that positively affected physical activity in children. After 2 years, kids in neighborhoods that obtained a high dose of VERB project advertising and also promotional activities reported greater awareness and also understanding of VERB, greater self-efficacy, much more sessions that physical activity per week, and were more active on the day prior to being surveyed than children who obtained the average national dose (Berkowitz et al., 2008). Depending upon the sources available, and the function of the campaign, both local advancement of campaigns and the fostering of nationwide message projects may it is in useful. In keeping with the focus on transforms that local federal governments can do to improve the food and also physical task environments that children, it is vital to allude out the media and also social marketing campaigns can boost these settings by focusing on the reasons for improving children’s food and also physical task environments; and also engaging the public in taking advantage of new resources in their atmosphere such together recreation centers, playgrounds, walking paths, etc.

Develop media campaigns, utilizing multiple networks (print, radio, Internet, television, other promotional materials) to promote physical task using regular messages.
Design a media campaign that creates physical task as a wellness equity issue and also reframes obesity as a repercussion of eco-friendly inequities and also not just the an outcome of poor personal choices.
Develop counter-advertising media approaches versus sedentary activity to with youth as has actually been done in the tobacco and also alcohol prevention fields.
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