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Percept Mot Skills. 2007 Apr;104(2):438-44.

Perceived neighborhood environments and physical activity in an elderly sample.

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  • 1Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, R. Pl├ícido Costa 91, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal.


Increasing evidence indicates the importance of environmental variables in explaining physical activity. This study evaluated sex differences in perception of home and neighborhood environmental support and assessed which neighborhood environmental variables were associated with reported physical activity of elderly people. A sample of 126 women (M age = 79.1 +/- 6.6 yr.) and 55 men (M age = 76.6 +/- 7.7 yr.) were healthy, community-dwelling individuals. A questionnaire about environmental variables was administered. Physical activity was assessed on the Baecke Questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis showed that Neighborhood Safety was related to total physical activity, activity in leisure time, and sport activities. Men were also likely to be more active in leisure time than women. Neighborhood Personal Safety was associated with physical activity of these elderly people, showing a potential influence of the environmental domain in physical activity.

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