Background: Perception of undesirable features may inhibit built environment use for physical activity among underserved families with children at risk for obesity. Methods: To examine the association of perceived availability, condition, and safety of the built environment with its self-reported use for physical activity, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis on baseline data from a randomized controlled trial. Adjusted Poisson regression was used to test the association between the primary independent variables (perceived availability, physical condition, and safety) with the primary outcome of self-reported use of built environment structures. Results: Among 610 parents (90% Latino) of preschool-age children, 158 (26%) reported that there were no available built environment structures for physical activity in the neighborhood. The use of built environment structures was associated with the perceived number of available structures (B = 0.34, 95% CI 0.31, 0.37, p < 0.001) and their perceived condition (B = 0.19, 95% CI 0.12, 0.27, p = 0.001), but not with perceived safety (B = 0.00, 95% CI −0.01, 0.01, p = 0.7). Conclusions: In this sample of underserved families, perceived availability and condition of built environment structures were associated with use rather than perceived safety. To encourage physical activity among underserved families, communities need to invest in the condition and availability of built environment structures. Trial registration: Registered at ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT01316653 ) on March 11, 2011.
Heerman, W. J., Mitchell, S. J., Thompson, J., Martin, N. C., Sommer, E. C., Van Bakergem, M., … Barkin, S. L. (2016). Parental perception of built environment characteristics and built environment use among Latino families: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3854-7