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Overweight and obesity are at epidemic proportions in the United States. The decline in physical activity (PA) levels in Americans is thought to be a major contributing factor to the obesity crisis. The decline in PA is well known during adolescence and is thought to contribute significantly to the increasing prevalence of overweight in teens.

Many factors are thought to explain the decline in PA including those on personal, social and physical environmental levels . How walk-able or bike-able is your neighborhood? Is your community safe from vehicular traffic and crime? How close is your home to parks and other places for physical activity? These are examples of characteristics thought to be related to adolescent physical activity.

This study investigates the relationship between the personal, social, physical environments and out-of-school physical activity levels in students recruited from Baltimore Polytechnic High School and Western High School. A diverse study team has come together for this research. Team members include researchers from public health, kinesiology, and urban planning.

BALTS is funded by Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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