Formal agreements that outline conditions for community use of school facilities represent a potentially attractive approach to increasing access to places for physical activity in underresourced areas. Despite growing interest in these shared use agreements, limited data are available on their population-level impacts.
This study used data collected via an Internet panel survey in spring 2014 (n = 1,006) to examine the extent of public awareness and use of school-based physical activity resources in Los Angeles County. Weighted data were analyzed using logistic regression to examine associations among access to and use of schools, demographics, and behavioral and environmental factors. Negative binomial regression was performed to test the association between access to school-based physical activity resources and physical activity.
Results suggest that a large percentage (57.7%) of people have access to school-based physical activity resources; however, only a portion (30.3%) use them. Safety of school grounds and whether onsite programming was offered were positively associated with use. In light of these findings, additional efforts may be needed to help optimize community use of schools for physical activity. These results can help inform program planning and implementation in communities considering shared use policies.