Interaction of perceived neighborhood walkability and self-efficacy on physical activity

Andrew T Kaczynski, Jennifer Robertson-Wilson, Melissa Decloe
Journal of Physical Activity & Health 2012, 9 (2): 208-17

OBJECTIVES: Few social ecological studies have considered the joint effects of intrapersonal and environmental influences on physical activity. This study investigated the interaction of self-efficacy and perceived neighborhood walkability in predicting neighborhood-based physical activity and how this relationship varied by gender and body mass index.

METHODS: Data were derived from a cross-sectional investigation of environmental and psychosocial correlates of physical activity among adults (n = 585). Participants completed a detailed 7-day physical activity log booklet, along with a questionnaire that included measures of neighborhood walkability, self-efficacy, and several sociodemographic items. Factorial analysis of variance tests were used to examine the main effects of and interaction between walkability and self-efficacy.

RESULTS: In predicting neighborhood-based physical activity, significant interactions were observed between self-efficacy and neighborhood walkability for females (but not for males) and for overweight/obese participants (but not for healthy weight individuals). Women and overweight/obese individuals with low self-efficacy demonstrated substantially greater physical activity when living in a high walkable neighborhood.

CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity research and promotion efforts should take into account both environmental and personal factors and the interrelationships between them that influence active living.


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