Article

Interactions between psychosocial and built environment factors in explaining older adults' physical activity

Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health, San Diego State University & University of California, San Diego, 3900 Fifth Avenue, Suite 310, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.09). 01/2012; 54(1):68-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.10.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

To evaluate ecological model predictions of cross-level interactions among psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity in 719 community-dwelling older adults in the Baltimore, Maryland and Seattle, Washington areas during 2005-2008.
Walkability, access to parks and recreation facilities and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) minutes per week (min/week) were measured objectively. Neighborhood aesthetics, walking facilities, social support, self-efficacy, barriers and transportation and leisure walking min/week were self-reported.
Walkability interacted with social support in explaining total MVPA (B=13.71) and with social support (B=7.90), self-efficacy (B=7.66) and barriers (B=-8.26) in explaining walking for transportation. Aesthetics interacted with barriers in explaining total MVPA (B=-12.20) and walking facilities interacted with self-efficacy in explaining walking for leisure (B=-10.88; Ps<.05). Summarizing across the interactions, living in a supportive environment (vs. unsupportive) was related to 30-59 more min/week of physical activity for participants with more positive psychosocial attributes, but only 0-28 more min/week for participants with less positive psychosocial attributes.
Results supported synergistic interactions between built environment and psychosocial factors in explaining physical activity among older adults. Findings suggest multilevel interventions may be most effective in increasing physical activity.

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    • "Although personal and intrinsic physical capabilities may contribute more to the neighbourhood activity levels of older adults than perceptions of the neighbourhood environment (de Melo et al., 2010), other evidence suggests that the perceived quality and accessibility of the built environment is important for neighbourhood activity engagement in maintaining good health (Grant et al., 2010a; Stathi et al., 2012). Although research examining the relation among physical activity, and neighbourhood physical environment is growing (e.g., Carlson, et al., 2012; Chaudhury et al., 2012; Corey et al., 2008; Frank et al., 2010; Michael et al., 2006; Michael et al., 2009; Michael and Carlson, 2009; Rhodes et al., 2006; Cerin et al., 2008; Villanueva et al., 2014), empirical evidence of the influence of several aspects of the neighbourhood built environment on physical activity in older adults is unclear and inconsistent. Moreover , studies examining the influence of both physical and social environmental aspects of the neighbourhood on older adults' physical activity are scarce (Rosso et al., 2013, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale.: The neighbourhood socio-physical environment has effects on health in later life including health behaviours, chronic illnesses, mental health and mortality. Few studies have examined the relationship of both physical environmental features and social aspects of neighbourhood with older adults' physical activity. Objective: This study examined the relationship of neighbourhood physical and social environment with physical activity among older adults. Methods: A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted with 434 older adults in eight neighbourhoods in greater Vancouver, Canada and Portland, United States. Data included participants' perceptions of their neighbourhood built and social environment factors and levels of physical activity. A logistic regression analysis was conducted to understand the relationship between these factors. Results: Participants engaged in physical activity most frequently at home (87.1%) or in close proximity of home (76.5%). Neighbourhood walkability, presence of amenities and accessibility were not significantly associated with meeting physical activity requirements. Participation in a recreational program with friends was associated with increased likelihood of physical activity. Conclusion: The home and its immediate physical environmental context has potentially important relevance in supporting physical activity in older adults. Also, neighbourhood social aspects have a positive influence on activity levels.
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