New research examines how fee waivers can increase youth sports participation.
Urban planners, public health leaders and business owners can all help people be active in their neighborhoods. Teachers, principals and school district directors can help children be active before, during and after school. Relying on evidence-based strategies in your work will help you be as effective as possible. Active Living Research has resources to provide practitioners with guidance on promising approaches for preventing obesity and promoting physical activity.
Berk, M. & Moon, M.M. (2016). Effects of a Facilitated Fee Waiver Program on Participation in Youth Sports Programs. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 34(3).
Registration fees can be an economic barrier to participation in public youth sports programs. While some programs offer to waive the registration fee, many do not, and those that do require that parents provide income documentation during the registration process in order to obtain the waiver. This requirement may discourage waiver applications that, in turn, may reduce participation by low-income children. This article describes the results of a demonstration program that allowed parents to obtain a youth sports programs registration fee waiver through a simple request, without demonstrating need. The demonstration found that a “facilitated waiver program” had a dramatic effect on waiver applications; a twelvefold increase was observed. Waiver applications increased the most among children attending schools in low-income neighborhoods. Those who requested waivers had strong attendance records at games and practices in the programs, and parental support was also high. Despite the benefits of facilitated waivers, however, their use alone is not sufficient to overcome the range of economic barriers to participation in youth sports programs.
A Summary of Findings from this paper is also available.
Highlights from the release of Lancet series on urban design, transport, and health.
America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative are excited to announce the 2017 National Walking Summit to be held in St. Paul, MN from September 13-15, 2017. After two extremely successful conferences in Washington, DC, the conference is moving to a city that is embracing livability to give participants an opportunity to explore firsthand the potential of walkable communities.
Different environments or types of communities offer different opportunities and challenges for promoting walking and walkability. Learn about some of the challenges that come with working in rural environments and a selection of resources that provide unique opportunities to promote walking and walkability in rural communities. Hear from WalkBoston as they talk about their work in promoting walking and walkability across the state of Massachusetts followed by examining two resources available to help you do the same in your community!
The objective of this webinar was to discuss how complex research results can be translated to inform practice and policy. The presenters described appropriate study designs and methods for Dissemination and Implementation research. These principles were illustrated with examples.
Public Health and Policy Dissemination Research
Ross C. Brownson, PhD, Bernard Becker Professor, Director, Prevention Research Center, Washington University in St. Louis
There are a growing number of evidence-based strategies to improve walking and walkability, but few of them have achieved wide use. Thus, there is a need to work toward improved dissemination and implementation (D&I) for the most promising interventions. Leading researchers provided an overview of the state of the science on effective walking and walkability interventions, specifically as it relates to D&I research. Important target populations, including racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups at highest risk for inactivity, were discussed.
New study provides estimates of physical activity intensity (calories burned) for different park areas.
Weigand, L., McNeil, N., Dill, J. (2013). Cost Analysis of Bicycle Facilities: Cases from Cities in the Portland, OR Region. Portland, OR: Portland State University.
As communities nationwide are faced with declining transportation revenues and increased demand, bicycle facilities can offer a way to increase the capacity of the existing infrastructure at a lower cost than traditional road projects. Bicycling instead of driving for shorter distances can help reduce traffic congestion by getting cars off the roadway, while promoting physical activity and better health for the individual. However, this potential can be overlooked as local officials are often unaware of the need to enhance the bicycle network to increase ridership, along with the relatively low cost to improve and expand the network. This study was undertaken to provide policy-makers with objective information on the true costs of bicycle facilities; to give transportation planners and engineers cost data to develop realistic plans and cost estimates; and, to help active transportation advocates make the case to the public and to elected officials for the economic benefits of bicycle facilities and cost savings over other infrastructure.
This study documented the costs associated with installing various bicycle facilities on existing streets, along with descriptions and photos of each facility type. For each type of bicycle facility there are a range of possible costs, determined in part on whether the change is a simple intervention or more complex redesign, and what level of planning or engineering the physical and political context require. In general, it was found that costs associated with design and construct of bicycle infrastructure improvements are relatively low when compared to similar lengths of roadway projects. For example, the City of Portland calculated that the city’s entire bicycle network, consisting of over 300 miles of bikeways would cost $60 million to replace (2008 dollars), whereas the same investment would yield just one mile of a four-lane urban freeway. In addition, bicycle facilities can often be combined with other roadway improvements to take advantage of economies of scale. For example, bicycle lanes can often be added to streets as part of planned maintenance or re-striping projects at a cost of $1 -5 per foot (excluding right of way acquisition and engineering costs). Bicycle boulevards, which are through-routes on streets with low traffic volumes and speeds, typically include a range of improvements to calm traffic and improve conditions for cycling. Depending on the context and magnitude of the project, bicycle boulevards generally cost between $9.50 and $27.20 per foot.
This report was funded by Active Living Research through a Commissioned Analysis Award.