Home, school, and neighborhood environment factors and youth physical activity

Rachel A Millstein, Joe Strobel, Jacqueline Kerr, James F Sallis, Gregory J Norman, Nefertiti Durant, Sion Harris, Brian E Saelens
Pediatric Exercise Science 2011, 23 (4): 487-503
This study examined the contributions of home, school, and neighborhood factors related to youth physical activity (PA). Adolescents (ages 12-18; N = 137) and parents of younger children (ages 5-11; N = 104) from three US metropolitan areas completed surveys. Youth PA was estimated from six items assessing overall physical activity. Bivariate analyses between environment factors and PA were significant correlations in each environmental setting for adolescents (r's:0.16-0.28), but for parents of children, only for the home and neighborhood settings (r's: 0.14-0.39). For adolescents, pieces of equipment at home, family recreation membership, equipment at school, and neighborhood aesthetics explained 15.8% of variance in PA. For younger children (based on parent report), pieces of equipment at home, neighborhood traffic safety, walking/cycling facilities, and street connectivity explained 21.4% of the variance in PA. Modifiable factors like increasing access to equipment at home and school, and improving neighborhood aesthetics may impact youth PA. To optimize explanation of youth PA, factors from multiple environments need to be considered.

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