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Based on the ecological model of active living, the neighborhood environment may relate to individual physical activity (PA) behaviors. The purposes of this study were to (1) generate a replicable neighborhood-level physical activity location availability score (PALAS) from data variables associated with physical activity among adolescents and adults, and apply this score to Baltimore City, Maryland, and (2) determine if relationships exist between PA and PA location availability. Geographic information systems (GISs) were used to create the PALAS. Using linear regression models, we examined relations between objectively measured PA among low-income, urban, predominantly African American adolescent girls (n = 555, 2009–2012 data collection), and the PALAS rating of their neighborhood environment (neighborhood PALAS) and their home neighborhood area (PALAS variables/subcomponents within 0.25 miles of the home). A PALAS map of the study area was created, illustrating neighborhoods varying in availability and variety of PA locations. After adjusting for confounders, a higher neighborhood PALAS (β = 0.10, p = 0.041) and the presence of a recreation center in the home neighborhood area (β = 0.46, p = 0.011) were associated with more minutes per day spent in moderate to vigorous PA. Policy makers and stakeholders should consider increasing access to PA locations as a strategy to promote PA among adolescent girls.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.