Body mass index and environmental supports for physical activity among active and inactive residents of a U. S. southeastern county.

Department of Psychology, Barnwell College, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.95). 12/2007; 26(6):710-7. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.26.6.710
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examined the associations between body mass index (BMI) and environmental supports for physical activity in active and inactive adults based on national recommendations for physical activity and walking. Residents of a southeastern community (N = 1,111; ages 18-75 years) were contacted using a random-digit-dial method and were asked about neighborhood and community social and environmental supports for physical activity.
Physical activity was measured using the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) physical activity module.
There was a positive association between higher physical activity and walking levels and lower BMI levels. Trusting neighborhoods, having recreational facilities present, and using trails were each associated with twice the odds of being overweight versus obese among those not meeting the national physical activity recommendations. Using trails was also associated with 2.7 times the odds of being overweight as opposed to obese among participants who were not regular walkers.
Improving environmental supports for access and use of trails and recreational facilities may be important for future environmental interventions aimed at reducing obesity among inactive individuals.

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