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Physical Activity and the Perceived Neighbourhood Environment: Looking at the Association the Other Way Around
Institute of Sport Science, Julius-Maximilians University Würzburg, D-97082 Würzburg, Germany.
Institute of Health Promotion and Clinical Movement Science, German Sport University, D-50933 Cologne, Germany.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3547-425X
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 11, no 8, 8093-8111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 The associationbetween physical activity (PA) and variables of the perceived environmentmainly originate from cross-sectional studies that introduced the idea that theenvironment influences the PA level of residents. However, the direction ofcause and effect has not been solved with finality. The aim of this study wasto investigate whether residents’ perception of their proximate environmentdiffers depending on their level of PA in transport and recreation. Weconducted a cross-sectional survey with residents of six different parts of thecity of Cologne, Germany. The sample of 470 adults (52.8% females; mean age =35.5 ± 13.8 years) filled in the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ),as well as the European Environmental Questionnaire ALPHA. To distinguishbetween residents with ‘low’ and ‘high’ PA, we split the samples into two on the basisof the specific median in transport- and recreation-related PA. In the ‘high’ vs. ‘low’ PA group of the overall sample,we noted 4–16% more ‘PA favourable’ environmental perceptions in seven of the15 environmental variables. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to investigateassociations of socio-demographic correlates and transport- andrecreation-related PA on the dependent variables of the environmentalperception. In this case,levels of PA were significant predictors for eight of the 15 items concerningenvironmental perceptions. Thus, the present study introduces the idea that residents withhigher levels of transport and recreational PA may perceive their environmentin a more ‘PA-favourable’ way than residents with lower levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 11, no 8, 8093-8111 p.
Keyword [en]
physical activity; perceived physical environment; gender; association; socio-demographic; correlates, Europe, Germany, transport-related physical activity, recreation-related physical activity
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-3383DOI: 10.3390/ijerph110808093OAI: diva2:735545
Available from: 2014-07-29 Created: 2014-07-29 Last updated: 2015-03-11

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