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Int J Pediatr Obes. 2010 Apr;5(2):169-76. doi: 10.3109/17477160903159432.

Adolescents' physical activity: competition between perceived neighborhood sport facilities and home media resources.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.



To examine the independent, competing, and interactive effects of perceived availability of specific types of media in the home and neighborhood sport facilities on adolescents' leisure-time physical activity (PA).


Survey data from 34 369 students in 42 Hong Kong secondary schools were collected (2006-07). Respondents reported moderate-to-vigorous leisure-time PA, presence of sport facilities in the neighborhood and of media equipment in the home. Being sufficiently physically active was defined as engaging in at least 30 minutes of non-school leisure-time PA on a daily basis. Logistic regression and post-estimation linear combinations of regression coefficients were used to examine the independent and competing effects of sport facilities and media equipment on leisure-time PA.


Perceived availability of sport facilities was positively (OR(boys) = 1.17; OR(girls) = 1.26), and that of computer/Internet negatively (OR(boys) = 0.48; OR(girls) = 0.41), associated with being sufficiently active. A significant positive association between video game console and being sufficiently active was found in girls (OR(girls) = 1.19) but not in boys. Compared with adolescents without sport facilities and media equipment, those who reported sport facilities only were more likely to be physically active (OR(boys) = 1.26; OR(girls) = 1.34), while those who additionally reported computer/Internet were less likely to be physically active (OR(boys) = 0.60; OR(girls) = 0.54).


Perceived availability of sport facilities in the neighborhood may positively impact on adolescents' level of physical activity. However, having computer/Internet may cancel out the effects of active opportunities in the neighborhood. This suggests that physical activity programs for adolescents need to consider limiting the access to computer-mediated communication as an important intervention component.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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