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Is a perceived supportive physical environment important for self-reported leisure time physical activity among socioeconomically disadvantaged women with poor psychosocial characteristics? An observational study

Cleland, Verity J., Ball, Kylie and Crawford, David 2013, Is a perceived supportive physical environment important for self-reported leisure time physical activity among socioeconomically disadvantaged women with poor psychosocial characteristics? An observational study, BMC public health, vol. 13, no. 280, pp. 1-8.

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Title Is a perceived supportive physical environment important for self-reported leisure time physical activity among socioeconomically disadvantaged women with poor psychosocial characteristics? An observational study
Author(s) Cleland, Verity J.
Ball, Kylie
Crawford, David
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 13
Issue number 280
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2013-03-27
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) social-ecological model
health behaviour
socioeconomic disadvantage
cross-sectional
survey research
Summary Background Over the past decade, studies and public health interventions that target the physical environment as an avenue for promoting physical activity have increased in number. While it appears that a supportive physical environment has a role to play in promoting physical activity, social-ecological models emphasise the importance of considering other multiple levels of influence on behaviour, including individual (e.g. self-efficacy, intentions, enjoyment) and social (e.g. social support, access to childcare) factors (psychosocial factors). However, not everyone has these physical activity-promoting psychosocial characteristics; it remains unclear what contribution the environment makes to physical activity among these groups. This study aimed to examine the association between the perceived physical environment and self-reported leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among women living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas demonstrating different psychosocial characteristics.

Methods In 2007–8, 3765 women (18–45 years) randomly selected from low socioeconomic areas in Victoria, Australia, self-reported LTPA, and individual, social and physical environmental factors hypothesised within a social-ecological framework to influence LTPA. Psychosocial and environment scores were created. Associations between environment scores and categories of LTPA (overall and stratified by thirds of perceived environment scores) were examined using generalised ordered logistic regression.

Results Women with medium and high perceived environment scores had 20-38% and 44-70% greater odds respectively of achieving higher levels of LTPA than women with low environment scores. When stratified by thirds of psychosocial factor scores, these associations were largely attenuated and mostly became non-significant. However, women with the lowest psychosocial scores but medium or high environment scores had 76% and 58% higher odds respectively of achieving ≥120 minutes/week (vs. <120 minutes/week) LTPA.

Conclusions Acknowledging the cross-sectional study design, the findings suggest that a physical environment perceived to be supportive of physical activity might help women with less favourable psychosocial characteristics achieve moderate amounts of LTPA (i.e. ≥120 minutes/week). This study provides further support for research and public health interventions to target perceptions of the physical environment as a key component of strategies to promote physical activity.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Cleland et al.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30052033

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.