The population effect of crime and neighbourhood on physical activity: An analysis of 15 461 adults

Evidence for Population Health Unit, Epidemiology & Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK.
Journal of Epidemiology &amp Community Health (Impact Factor: 3.5). 02/2007; 61(1):34-9. DOI: 10.1136/jech.2006.048389
Source: PubMed


Area-based interventions offer the potential to increase physical activity for many sedentary people in countries such as the UK. Evidence on the effect of individual and area/neighbourhood influences on physical activity is in its infancy, and despite its value to policy makers a population focus is rarely used. Data from a population-based health and lifestyle survey of adults in northwest England were used to analyse associations between individual and neighbourhood perceptions and physical activity. The population effect of eliminating a risk factor was expressed as a likely effect on population levels of physical activity. Of the 15,461 responders, 21,923 (27.1%) were physically active. Neighbourhood perceptions of leisure facilities were associated with physical activity, but no association was found for sense of belonging, public transport or shopping facilities. People who felt safe in their neighbourhood were more likely to be physically active, but no associations were found for vandalism, assaults, muggings or experience of crime. The number of physically active people would increase by 3290 if feelings of "unsafe" during the day were removed, and by 11,237 if feelings of "unsafe" during the night were removed. An additional 8342 people would be physically active if everyone believed that they were "very well placed for leisure facilities". Feeling safe had the potential largest effect on population levels of physical activity. Strategies to increase physical activity in the population need to consider the wider determinants of health-related behaviour, including fear of crime and safety.

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    • "In employing these and other similar definitions, studies have shown a strong relationship between neighbourhood of residence and a number of health outcomes including low birth weight and infant mortality (Buka et al., 2003; O'campo et al., 1997; Szwarcwald et al., 2002), self-rated health (Wen et al., 2006; Patel et al., 2003; Kawachi et al., 1999), cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions including coronary heart disease (Sundquist et al., 2004; Diez-Roux et al., 1997), stress, and depression (Matheson et al., 2006; Boardman et al., 2001). In addition, neighbourhood contextual characteristics have also been shown to influence health related behaviours, such as smoking (Frohlich et al., 2002; Duncan et al., 1999; Kleinschmidt et al., 1995), alcohol consumption (Stockdale et al., 2007; Pollack et al., 2005; Duncan et al., 2002), diet (Morland et al., 2002; Lee and Cubbin, 2002; Ecob and Macintyre, 2000), and physical activity (Harrison et al., 2007; Fisher et al., 2004; Giles-Corti and Donovan, 2002). "

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    • "249). Specifically, they reported that, in 17 studies of adults, higher perceptions of crime problems (e.g., fear, risk) were associated with lower levels of reported PA (Booth et al., 2000; Carnegie et al., 2002; De Bourdeaudhuij et al., 2003; Eyler et al., 2003; Foster et al., 2004; Giles-Corti and Donovan, 2002; Harrison et al., 2007; Hooker et al., 2005; Li et al., 2005; Mota et al., 2007; Piro et al., 2006; Ross, 2000; Shenassa et al., 2006; Vest and AM, 2005; Weinstein et al., 1999; Wilbur et al., 2003a; Wilcox et al., 2003). However, no significant relationships were reported in 16 studies (Ainsworth et al., 2003; Ball et al., 2007; Brownson et al., 2001; Duncan and Mummery, 2005; Evenson et al., 2003; Hoehner et al., 2005; Huston et al., 2003; King et al., 2000; Lim and Taylor, 2005; Parks et al., 2003; Sallis et al., 1997; Troped et al., 2003; Voorhees and Young, 2003; Wilbur et al., 2003b; Wilcox et al., 2000; Young and Voorhees, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The current cross-sectional study tests whether low perceived crime safety is associated with body mass index (BMI) and obesity risk and whether less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) accounts for part of this relationship. Method: Adults (n=864) from a relatively low-income and ethnically mixed neighborhood in Salt Lake City UT (2012) were assessed for perceived crime safety, objective physical activity, and BMI measures. Results: This neighborhood had lower perceived safety than for other published studies utilizing this safety measure. In a mediation test, lower perceived crime safety was significantly associated with higher BMI and greater risk of obesity, net of control variables. Residents with lower perceived safety had less MVPA. Lower MVPA partially explained the relationship between less safety and both elevated BMI and higher obesity risk, suggesting that perceiving less crime safety limits MVPA which, in turn, increases weight. Conclusion: In this neighborhood, with relatively low perceived safety from crime, residents' low perceived safety is related to more obesity and higher BMI; lower MVPA among residents explained part of this relationship. If residents are to become more active in their neighborhood it may be important to address perceived crime safety as part of broader efforts to enhance active living.
    Preventive Medicine 06/2014; 66. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.06.021 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "The comprehensive and neighborhood planning of Abuja facilitates walking and may contribute to the high prevalence of this activity in this study population. Although several studies have shown that neighborhood safety [37], walkability [38], traffic speed and volume [39], and residential density were associated with walking and other forms of physical activity [40], these have not been studied in Abuja. A recent study based on a population in Northern Nigeria showed that perceived safety from crime and traffic were inversely associated with physical activity among Nigerian adults [41]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Physical inactivity levels are rising in many countries with major implications for the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and the general health of the population worldwide. We conducted this study to examine leisure-time physical activity levels among African adults in an urban setting. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study among a random sample of 1,058 adults at a government worksite, in Abuja, an urban Nigerian city. We used log-binomial regression models to estimate the multivariable-adjusted associations of correlates of physical activity. Results The mean age of the study population was 42 ± 9.3 years, 60% were men and 40% were women. The mean metabolic equivalent hours per week for all the participants was 6.8 ± 7.2. In univariate analysis comparing the lowest to highest tertiles of physical activity, the prevalence ratio (PR) and (95% confidence interval, CI) was 0.95 (0.81-1.11) p = 0.49, comparing women to men; compared to those aged <30 years the PR (95% CI) was 0.70 (0.57-0.86), 0.70 (0.58-0.85) and 0.78 (0.63-0.96) for age 30–39, 40–49 and ≥50 years respectively, p for trend = 0.03; compared to those who were normal weight, the PR was 0.93 (0.79-1.10) and 0.90 (0.74-1.09) for overweight and obese persons respectively, p = 0.26. The PR for age was attenuated to non-significant levels in multivariable analyses. Being married was a statistically significant correlate of higher physical activity levels, the PR comparing unmarried to married persons in multivariate analysis was 0.81 (0.67-0.97), p = 0.03. Conclusions More than 80% of urban, professional Nigerian adults do not meet the WHO recommendations of physical activity. Urbanized Africans in this study population had low levels of leisure-time physical activity, independent of age, sex and body-mass index. This has major implications for the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in this population.
    BMC Public Health 05/2014; 14(1):529. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-529 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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