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Health Psychol. 2007 Nov;26(6):701-9.

Perceived environmental predictors of physical activity over 6 months in adults: activity counseling trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, 3900 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.

Erratum in

  • Health Psychol. 2008 Mar;27(2):214.



In the present study, the authors extend previous cross-sectional findings by using a prospective design to determine whether physical and social environmental characteristics predict physical activity over 6 months.


Inactive adults were recruited to the Activity Counseling Trial, a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of physical activity intervention in primary care. Participants were 387 women and 474 men aged 35-75 years in 3 regions; 1/3 were minorities; 56% had some college education. Baseline perceived environmental variables were used to predict physical activity at 6 months, adjusting for experimental condition and other potential moderators.


The validated 7-day physical activity recall interview was used to estimate minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. A standardized survey was used to measure social and physical environmental variables around the home and neighborhood.


Women reporting no unattended dogs and low crime in their neighborhoods and men reporting frequently seeing people being active in their neighborhoods did 50-75 more minutes of physical activity per week than did those with different environmental characteristics. Interactions of environmental variables with age group suggested that older adults may be more affected by environmental variables than are younger adults.


Self-reported social and physical environmental variables were significantly related to moderate to vigorous physical activity among a diverse sample of adults living in 3 regions of the United States. These prospective findings strengthen the conclusion from previous cross-sectional studies that environmental variables are important correlates of physical activity.

(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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