Publication Title: 
Preventive Medicine
Publication Date: 
Thursday, January 9, 2014

This study evaluates 18 shared-use agreements (SUAs) implemented in Los Angeles County during 2010–2012 to identify the extent to which SUAs addressed school district concerns about cost responsibility, sustainability, and scope. SUAs opened school grounds and/or facilities in seven school districts to increase physical activity opportunities for under-resourced communities with high prevalence of obesity.

The study finds SUAs varied in the degree to which they addressed the three categories of concerns, but that they have the potential to reach nearly 165,000 children (ages 5–19) and more than 500,000 adults (ages 20–64) at a cost of about $0.38 per community member reached.

The researchers conclude that SUAs that include legal clauses to address school concerns about factors such as vandalism, staffing and funding represent a promising strategy for increasing physical activity opportunities in under-resourced neighborhoods where the prevalence of obesity is high.

Burbage L, Gonzalez E, Dunning L, Simon P, Kuo T. Building mutually beneficial partnerships to improve physical activity opportunities through shared-use efforts in under-resourced communities in Los Angeles County. Preventive Medicine. Online Jan. 9, 2014.