Love thy neighbour? Associations of social capital and crime with physical activity amongst women

Ball, Kylie, Cleland, Verity J., Timperio, Anna F., Salmon, Jo, Giles-Corti, Billie and Crawford, David A. 2010, Love thy neighbour? Associations of social capital and crime with physical activity amongst women, Social science & medicine, vol. 71, no. 4, pp. 807-814, doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.04.041.

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Title Love thy neighbour? Associations of social capital and crime with physical activity amongst women
Author(s) Ball, KylieORCID iD for Ball, Kylie
Cleland, Verity J.
Timperio, Anna F.ORCID iD for Timperio, Anna F.
Salmon, JoORCID iD for Salmon, Jo
Giles-Corti, Billie
Crawford, David A.ORCID iD for Crawford, David A.
Journal name Social science & medicine
Volume number 71
Issue number 4
Start page 807
End page 814
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2010-08
ISSN 0277-9536
Keyword(s) Australia
social capital
physical activity
Summary Using a multilevel study design, this study examined the associations between social characteristics of individuals and neighbourhoods and physical activity among women. Women (n = 1405) recruited from 45 Melbourne (Australia) neighbourhoods of varying socioeconomic disadvantage provided data on social factors and leisure-time: physical activity; walking; and walking in one’s own neighbourhood. Individual level social factors were number of neighbours known and social participation. Neighbourhood-level social characteristics (interpersonal trust, norms of reciprocity, social cohesion) were derived by aggregating survey data on these constructs within neighbourhoods. Objective data on crimes within neighbourhoods were obtained from Victoria Police. In bivariable regression models, all social variables at both the individual and neighbourhood level were positively associated with odds of physical activity, walking, and walking in one’s own neighbourhood. Associations with individual social participation (associated with all three physical activity variables) and neighbourhood interpersonal trust (associated with overall physical activity only) remained significant in multivariable models. Neither neighbourhood crime against the person nor incivilities were associated with any form of physical activity. These results demonstrate that women who participated in local groups or events and, less consistently, women living in neighbourhoods where residents trusted one another, were more likely to participate in leisure-time physical activity. While redressing macro-level social and economic policies that contribute to neighbourhood inequalities remains a priority, public health initiatives aimed at promoting physical activity could consider focusing on fostering social interactions targeting both individuals and communities. Further investigation of causal mechanisms underlying these associations is required.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.04.041
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Elsevier
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