The built environment, neighborhood crime and constrained physical activity: an exploration of inconsistent findings.
ABSTRACT Personal safety is commonly cited in qualitative research as a barrier to local walking, yet the relationship between safety and constrained physical activity has received mixed support in quantitative studies. This paper reviews the quantitative evidence to date, seeking to explain the inconsistencies, and offers recommendations for future research.
A social-ecological framework was adopted to explore the evidence linking crime-related safety, and factors that influence real and perceived safety, with constrained physical activity.
Perceived safety tends to affect the physical activity of groups already known to exhibit greater anxiety about crime; and some elements of the built environment that influence safety appear to constrain physical activity. However the evidence is somewhat inconsistent, and this may be partly attributed to measurement limitations. Many studies employ generic safety measures that make implicit references to crime or use composite variables that lack specificity. Physical activity outcomes also require consideration, as only activities occurring locally outdoors are likely to be affected by neighborhood crime.
Further research is required to tease out associations between real and perceived crime-related safety and physical activity, ideally employing behaviour and crime-specific measures, and addressing the moderating role of the social and built environments.
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ABSTRACT: The Children and Physical Activity Scenarios Project was a multi-method exploration and analysis of alternative physical activity futures among 5-12 year old children in Canada over the next 50 years. Participation in physical activity by children was identified as appropriate for scenario development since the aetiology and consequences of the increasing rates of childhood sedentariness are highly complex, and comprehensive population health solutions remain elusive in spite of earnest individual and collective efforts.
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ABSTRACT: We determined whether social fragmentation, which is linked to the concept of anomie (or normlessness), was associated with a decreased likelihood of willingness to walk for exercise. Data were collected from mothers and fathers of 630 families participating in the Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth Cohort, an ongoing longitudinal study investigating the natural history of obesity and insulin resistance in children. Social fragmentation was defined as the breakdown of social bonds between individuals and their communities. We used log-binomial multiple regression models to estimate the association between social fragmentation and walking for exercise. Higher social fragmentation was associated with a decreased likelihood of walking for exercise among women but not men. Compared with women living in neighborhoods with the lowest social fragmentation scores (first quartile), those living in neighborhoods in the second (relative risk [RR] = 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.78, 1.05), third (RR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.70, 1.00), and fourth (RR = 0.80; 95% CI = 0.65, 0.99) quartiles were less likely to walk for exercise (P = .02). Social fragmentation is associated with reduced walking among women. Increasing neighborhood stability may increase walking behavior, especially among women.American Journal of Public Health 06/2012; 102(9):e30-7. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate gender, race/ethnicity, education, and income as moderators of relations of perceived neighborhood crime, pedestrian, and traffic safety to physical activity.Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 08/2014; 46(8):1554-1563.