Examining Access to Trails in High and Low Income Regions of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area
American Public Health Association Annual Conference
Introduction: Over 60% of Nevadans are overweight or obese, and the built environment has been shown to be a contributing factor. Studies have shown that individuals are more likely to participate in physical activity if it is convenient. Urban trails offer free and convenient opportunities for physical activity and access to trails is associated with increased levels of physical activity. Data show that lower income populations have disparate access to recreational facilities. The purpose of this study is to examine the distribution of trails in the Las Vegas Metropolitan area (LVMA). Methods: The LVMA was divided geographically into seven cities and towns (Las Vegas, Henderson, Paradise, Enterprise, Whitney, Sunrise Manor, Spring Valley). Las Vegas and Henderson were divided further into their six and four wards, respectively. Regions with a median household income below the LVMA average median income were recorded as low income and those above were recorded as high income. The number of trail heads located in each geographic region was recorded. There were a total of 167 trail heads located. A Mann Whitney U test revealed a significant difference between the number of trail heads and neighborhood income (U=2.0, P=.002). It can be concluded that high income regions have significantly more trail heads than lower income regions (Md=14, n=9; Md=3, n=6). Discussion: These findings are significant, as low income populations are most vulnerable to inactivity and chronic disease. Efforts should be made to ensure that every population has adequate access to opportunities for physical activity.
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health
Examining Access to Trails in High and Low Income Regions of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area.
American Public Health Association Annual Conference, 2012