Document Type

Article

Abstract

Objective - To investigate associations between the number of physical activity facilities within walking distance of school and physical activity behavior in 12th grade girls during after-school hours.

Methods - Girls (N=1394) from 22 schools completed a self-report to determine physical activity after 3:00 pm. The number of physical activity facilities within a 0.75-mile buffer of the school was counted with a Geographic Information System. Associations between the number of facilities and girls' physical activity were examined using linear mixed-model analysis of variance.

Results - Overall, girls who attended schools with ≥ 5 facilities within the buffer reported more physical activity per day than girls in schools with < 5 facilities. In addition, girls who attended rural schools with ≥ 5 facilities reported ~12% more physical activity per day than girls who attended rural schools with < 5 facilities. No difference existed for girls in urban/suburban schools with ≥ 5 vs. < 5 facilities.

Conclusion - When school siting decisions are made, the number of physical activity facilities surrounding the school should be considered to encourage physical activity in 12th grade girls.

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