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Life Stage and Sex Specificity in Relationships between the Built and Socioeconomic Environments and Physical Activity

Citation

Boone-Heinonen, Janne & Gordon-Larsen, Penny (2011). Life Stage and Sex Specificity in Relationships between the Built and Socioeconomic Environments and Physical Activity. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 65(10), 847-852. PMCID: PMC3059385

Abstract

Background: In the largely cross-sectional literature, built environment characteristics such as walkability and recreation centres are variably related to physical activity. Subgroup-specific effects could help explain inconsistent findings, yet few studies have compared built environment associations by key characteristics such as sex or life stage.
Methods: Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (wave I 1994–5, wave III 2001–2; n=12,701) and a linked geographic information system, cross-sectional relationships between moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) bouts and built and socioeconomic environment measures were estimated. Negative binomial generalised estimating equation regression modelled MVPA as a function of log-transformed environment measures, controlling for individual sociodemographics and testing for interactions with sex and life stage (waves I and III, when respondents were adolescents and young adults, respectively).
Results: Higher landscape diversity (coefficient 0.040; 95% CI 0.019 to 0.062) and lower crime (coefficient −0.047; 95% CI −0.071 to −0.022) were related to greater weekly MVPA regardless of sex or life stage. Higher street connectivity was marginally related to lower MVPA (coefficient −0.176; 95% CI −0.357 to 0.005) in females but not males. Pay facilities and public facilities per 10,000 population and median household income were unrelated to MVPA.
Conclusions: Similar relationships between higher MVPA and higher landscape diversity and lower crime rate across sex and life stage suggest that application of these environment features may benefit broad populations. Sex-specific associations for street connectivity may partly account for the variation in findings across studies and have implications for targeting physical activity promotion strategies.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech.2009.105064

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2011

Journal Title

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Author(s)

Boone-Heinonen, Janne
Gordon-Larsen, Penny

PMCID

PMC3059385