Title page for ETD etd-05162012-014120

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sams, Lauren Kimbrell
Author's Email Address lauren86@vt.edu
URN etd-05162012-014120
Title Examining Access to Recreational Facilities in Danville, Virginia
Degree Master of Science
Department Geography
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hill, Jennie L. Committee Co-Chair
Kolivras, Korine N. Committee Co-Chair
Carstensen, Laurence William Jr. Committee Member
Oliver, Robert D. Committee Member
  • environmental justice
  • physical activity
  • access
  • obesity
  • parks
  • medical geography
Date of Defense 2012-04-26
Availability restricted
Obesity is a growing issue in the United States, and it affects millions of people. Obesity-related illness accounts for billions of dollars in medical expenses each year, heightening the need for prevention and intervention strategies. Physical activity is essential in maintaining a healthy weight, yet population groups have unequal access to physical activity opportunities. This research utilizes an environmental justice framework to examine variations in access and quality of recreational facilities among different socio-demographic groups in Danville, VA. Data for this research include secondary and primary sources. Race data were obtained from the 2010 U.S. Census. The Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA) tool was utilized to audit all recreational facilities within the City of Danville for features, amenities, and incivilities. Telephone survey data provided individual level-BMI, physical activity minutes per week, and variables of socioeconomic status, including income, education attainment, employment status, and gender. Analysis included ANOVAs, linear, and bivariate logistic regression. Predominant block group race was a significant predictor of incivilities at physical activity outlets. Proximity to recreational facilities was not a predictor of physical activity or BMI. Interventions must be made to improve the quality of recreational facilities in black or African American block groups.
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