Iniquities in the built environment related to physical activity in public school neighborhoods in Curitiba, Paraná State, Brazil

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Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the association between the characteristics of the environment related to physical activity and income in areas around schools in Curitiba, Paraná State, Brazil. A total of 888 street segments were audited with a systematic observation instrument in three sections (Routes, Segments, and Crossings) in a radius of 500 meters around 30 public schools. The total score was the sum of the sections. Data on income in the school neighborhood were obtained from the 2010 Population Census, and the linear distance from each school to the city center was calculated. Multilevel models (level one = segment; level two = school) were applied to the analysis, with estimates of weighted means and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). In the crude analysis, the highest variability between schools was observed in the Segments section (ICC = 0.41) and the lowest in the Routes section (ICC = 0.19). The street segments located around schools in the lowest income tertile reach an adjusted mean total score of 15.6 (95%CI: 13.0-18.3), nearly half of that in those with the highest income, which reached 30.7 points (95%CI; 28.0-33.5), with a significant difference between the tertiles (p < 0.001). The score for the more central areas of the city was 30.1 (95%CI: 26.9-33.4), significantly higher (p < 0.001) than for the more peripheral areas, where the score was 16.3 (95%CI: 12.8-19.8). The characteristics of the environment assessed by the Routes and Segments sections, in addition to the total score, were associated with the lowest income. An environment with worse quality in lower income areas is one of the iniquities that needs to be faced in Brazil’s metropolises in order to help improve the people’s health.

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Dos Santos, D. S., Hino, A. A. F., & Höfelmann, D. A. (2019). Iniquities in the built environment related to physical activity in public school neighborhoods in Curitiba, Paraná State, Brazil. Cadernos de Saude Publica, 35(5). https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311X00110218

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