Survey Results

Live Well Springfield is a community based coalition that includes over 20 organizations working in Springfield.  The coalition supports a grassroots movement towards health equity through improving access to healthy eating and active living opportunities.  In 2012 Pioneer Valley Planning Commission received a Community Transformation Grant (CTG) from the Center for Disease Control to further the work of this movement.

Great strides have been made in this effort and ongoing action is essential to continue the momentum.

To collect information in Springfield about current behavior related to eating and physical activity, a survey was conducted during the summer of 2013.  With wonderful help from the community, the LWS team was able to collect 312 baseline surveys. Of these, 280 were from Springfield residents. Surveys were collected in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.  Here is what we found:

WHAT WE FOUND OUT ABOUT FOOD

  • Most of the respondents said that fresh fruits & vegetables (85%), whole grains (85%), lean meats (81%), and low sodium foods (72%) were available in the grocery stores where they shopped.

  • Only 38% of the respondents report eating the recommended 5 daily servings of fruits/ vegetables on a regular basis compared to 2009 data from the CDC which indicates that only 32% of MA residents eat 2 daily servings of fruit and 3 daily servings of vegetables.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT ABOUT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

  • Half the respondents said they walked at least 10 minutes/day at least 3 days/week.

  • Most people (69%) felt their neighborhood was safe for them to walk alone during the day.

  • More than a quarter (27%) said they use the RiverWalk.

  • Over one -third (39%) of the people surveyed met the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. According to a the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition 2008 report, fewer than 20% of adults meet the 30-minutes of recommended physical activity each day.

WHO RESPONDED TO THE SURVEY

  • Most (70%) respondents were female.

  • All adult age groups were represented:

    • 15% were under 26 years old.

    • 32% were 26-40 years

    • 28% were 41-55 years

    • 25% were 55 or older

  • We had representation from different ethnic/race groups (this is how participants described themselves):

    • 36% reported being African American

    • 28% White

    • 16% Hispanic

    • 10% Puerto Rican

    • 5% Asian

WHAT WE NEED TO DO NEXT

  • Expand our Mobile Markets and Farmer’s Markets that sell food at affordable prices and increase publicity for them.

  • Work with businesses that sell food to upgrade the quality and bring quality food sources to more neighborhoods …  When asked why they didn’t eat more healthy foods, people said that they were limited by the cost and the quality of the food available and they also had limited transportation to get to stores.

  • Enhance infrastructure, such as the Riverwalk and other pathways, so that folks can access safe and beautiful spaces for daily physical activity.

  • Share information about the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables and less red meat as well as being physically active to meet national recommendations.

Live Well Springfield Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Survey

Map of Residents Surveyed by Neighborhood