Health
5:20 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Study Links Access to Parks to Teenage Exercise Habits

Centennial Park in Bakersfield
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

  A new study from the UCLA Center For Health Policy Research shows that teenagers who live near parks and open space areas are more physically active than those who don't. 

The study also shows that low income teens use parks less, citing safety concerns. Low income teens were also less likely to be active for at least one hour a day. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity for teenagers. In California, only 15 percent of teens meet this recommendation, down from 19 percent in 2007. 

"Too many of our youth do not have access to the supports they need to achieve good health," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, CEO and president of The California Endowment, which funded the UCLA study. "Access to parks is a necessity, not a luxury. If we are to effectively address the childhood obesity epidemic in California, we must put resources where they are needed."

Only about 25 percent of teens live near a park or open space. 

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