Small Business Support of Youth Physical Activity Opportunities

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American Journal of Health Promotion


Purpose: Describe small business support for youth physical activity opportunities (YPAO) and identify factors associated with this support.

Design: Cross-sectional analysis of quantitative data relating business characteristics and support for YPAO.

Setting: Eight demographically heterogeneous, urban neighborhoods in a Midwest metropolitan area.

Subjects: Adult small business owners (n = 90; 65% response rate; mean age 48.4 years; 73.3% male; 45.2% minority).

Measures: Neighborhood demographics from the 2000 U.S. Census and self-reported business and owner characteristics.

Analysis: Multivariate analysis of variance was used to contrast business and owner characteristics between businesses that did and did not support YPAO.

Results: Businesses supporting YPAO had larger annual operating (F = 7.6; p = .018) and advertising budgets (F = 8.5; p = .009) and had younger owners (F = 6.1; p = .034), with sports backgrounds (χ(2) = 5.6; p = .018) and who felt businesses should support YPAO (χ(2) = 3.8; p = .048). Of the 46 businesses not supporting YPAO, 82.6% felt small businesses should support YPAO. The major reasons for nonsupport were difficulty identifying YPAO to support and not being asked for support.

Conclusions: Business (e.g., budgets) and business owner characteristics (e.g., age), owner connectedness with YPAO, and the approach used for garnering support (active solicitation, clearly defined support mechanism) were associated with supporting YPAO. Additional business (e.g., annual revenues), owner (e.g., perceptions of YPAO), and environmental (e.g., crime rate, land use) factors should be examined as potential correlates.



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