Submitted: 18 Oct 2018
Revised: 15 Nov 2018
Accepted: 18 Nov 2018
First published online: 23 Jan 2019
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Health Promot Perspect. 2019;9(1):24-30.
doi: 10.15171/hpp.2019.03
PMID: 30788264
PMCID: PMC6377699
  Abstract View: 75
  PDF Download: 97
  Full Text View: 41

Original Article

Assessment of neighborhood street characteristics related to physical activity in the Lower Mississippi Delta

Jessica L. Thomson 1 * ORCiD, Melissa H. Goodman 1 ORCiD, Alicia S. Landry 1

1 US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Stoneville, MS, USA
2 Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR, USA

Abstract

Background: Physical activity levels were low for pregnant and postpartum participants in a diet and physical activity intervention. To explore micro level characteristics of participants’neighborhoods related to physical activity, an ancillary study was conducted. Methods: This cross-sectional study encompassed the neighborhood street segments of women participating in a diet and physical activity intervention that was conducted in the Lower Mississippi Delta. A neighborhood was defined as all street segments within one-fourth walking mile of a participant’s home address. Street segments were measured using the Rural Active Living Assessment’s Street Segment Assessment tool. In the field and on foot, raters measured street segments using neighborhood maps with segments identified. Results: Mean street segment length was 0.22 miles (SD = 0.14). All segments had flat terrain with residential (98%), open spaces (74%), and public/civic (34%) as the most prevalent land uses. Almost three-fourths of segments did not have any sidewalks (69%), sidewalk buffers or defined shoulders (73%), crosswalks or pedestrian signage (69%), or posted speed limits (74%).However, 88% had stop signs and almost all (96%) had street lighting and were paved multi lane roads (95%) with low traffic volume (90%). Most residential structures present were single family detached homes (95%) and the most common public/civic and commercial structures were churches (24%) and convenience stores (9%), respectively. Almost all of the street segments were rated as walk able (99%) and aesthetically pleasing (94%). Conclusion: Neighborhood street segments surrounding Delta Healthy Sprouts participants’homes were walk able and aesthetically pleasing. However, safety features such as sidewalks,pedestrian signage, and posted speed limit signs were lacking. To address these inadequate pedestrian safety features, infrastructure changes are needed for small rural towns.
Citation: Thomson JL, Goodman MH, Landry AS. Assessment of neighborhood street characteristics related to physical activity in the Lower Mississippi Delta. Health Promot Perspect. 2019;9(1):24-30. doi: 10.15171/hpp.2019.03.
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