Document Type

Policy Brief

Publication Date



Active Living, Childhood Obesity, Rural Health


Childhood obesity and inactivity are significant and growing problems in many rural areas where the prevalence of obesity and overweight has been shown to be 25 percent higher than urban rates, even after controlling for income, race, physical activity and other known risk factors. While rural areas are often viewed as an ideal setting for an active childhood, kids face a variety of obstacles to incorporating physical activity in their daily lives. Active living research to date has focused largely on urban and suburban environments. This study investigates the complex web of determinants that support or undermine physical activity in rural youth.