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Municipal officials' perceived barriers to consideration of physical activity in community design decision making
University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications
  • Karin Valentine Goins, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Kristin L. Schneider, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Ross Brownson, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis
  • Cheryl Carnoske, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis
  • Kelly R. Evenson, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Amy Eyler, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis
  • Katie Heinrich, Kansas State University
  • Jill Litt, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Rodney Lyn, Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University
  • Jay Maddock, University of Hawaii
  • Hannah Reed, Colorado School of Public Health
  • Nancy O'Hara Tompkins, West Virginia University
  • Stephenie C. Lemon, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Date
5-1-2013
Document Type
Article
Medical Subject Headings
Motor Activity; Exercise; Community Health Services; City Planning; Social Planning
Abstract
CONTEXT: Built environment-focused interventions and policies are recommended as sustainable approaches for promoting physical activity. Physical activity has not traditionally been considered in land use and transportation decision making. Effective collaboration with non-public health partners requires knowledge of their perceived barriers to such consideration. OBJECTIVE: This analysis sought to (a) establish prevalence estimates of selected barriers to the consideration of physical activity in community design and layout decisions and (b) describe how barrier reporting by public health officials differs from other municipal officials among a wide range of job functions and departments in a geographically diverse sample. DESIGN: A Web-based survey was conducted among municipal officials in 94 cities and towns with populations of at least 50 000 residents in 8 states. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 453 municipal officials from public health, planning, transportation/public works, community and economic development, parks and recreation, city management, and municipal legislatures in 83 cities and towns responded to the survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Five barriers to consideration of physical activity in community design and layout were assessed. RESULTS: The most common barriers included lack of political will (23.5%), limited staff (20.4%), and lack of collaboration across municipal departments (16.2%). Fewer participants reported opposition from the business community or residents as barriers. Public health department personnel were more likely to report the barriers of limited staff and lack of collaboration across municipal departments than other professionals. They were also more likely to report lack of political will than city managers or mayors and municipal legislators. CONCLUSIONS: Barriers to increasing consideration of physical activity in decision making about community design and layout are encouragingly low. Implications for public health practice include the need to strategically increase political will despite public health staffing constraints and perceived lack of collaboration with relevant departments such as planning and public works/transportation.
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Citation: J Public Health Manag Pract. 2013 May-Jun;19(3 Suppl 1):S65-73. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e318284970e. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
23529058
Citation Information
Karin Valentine Goins, Kristin L. Schneider, Ross Brownson, Cheryl Carnoske, et al.. "Municipal officials' perceived barriers to consideration of physical activity in community design decision making" Vol. 19 Iss. 3 Suppl 1 (2013) ISSN: 1078-4659 (Linking)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stephenie_lemon/60/