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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


RODRIGUEZ-ROMO, Gabriel et al. Association between the characteristics of the neighbourhood environment and physical activity. Gac Sanit [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.6, pp.487-493. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To assess the relationship between the physical and social attributes of the neighborhood environment and levels of total physical activity (PA), leisure time PA, and active commuting PA in adults. Methods: The present cross-sectional study comprised 1500 adults (51.1% women) aged 15-74 years from the Autonomous Region of Madrid (Spain). Data were collected through a structured telephone interview. PA was assessed using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, version 2. Neighborhood attributes were assessed with the Environmental Module of the International Physical Activity Prevalence Study. Results: The factors associated with a higher probability of achieving moderate to high levels of total PA and active commuting PA were living in high density residential areas, the presence of shops close to the residential area, public transport stops 10-15 minutes away from the home, and the existence of sidewalks in most of the neighborhood's streets (all p <0,05). The factors associated with moderate to high leisure time PA levels were the presence of active people in the residential area and the presence of low-cost recreational facilities (both p <0,05). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that most of the physical and social attributes of the neighborhood environment examined in this study are associated with total and active commuting PA, whereas only certain neighborhood attributes seem to be associated with leisure time PA.

Keywords : Physical activity; Health; Recommendations; Built environment; Neighbourhood; Adults; Madrid.

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