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Prev Med. 2005 Nov-Dec;41(5-6):834-6. Epub 2005 Aug 31.

Perceived Neighborhood Environments and physical activity in adolescents.

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Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure-FCDEF/UP, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa 91, 4200450 Porto, Portugal.



There is a reason to believe that physical environments variables play an especially important role in the level of physical activity. Few studies have examined the association between environmental variables and level of physical activity in adolescents.


This study aims were: (1) to evaluate differences in perceived neighborhood environment according to physical activity level and (2) to determine which, if any, perceived neighborhood environmental variables were associated with reported physical activity levels in an adolescent population.


The sample comprised of 1123 adolescents, which were classified according to physical activity levels into actives (n = 589) and non-active (n = 534). A questionnaire assessed Perceived Neighborhood Environments. Physical activity was assessed by questionnaire and used as the dependent variable.


More active children were reported to more significantly (P < 0.05) agree with the importance of the accessibility of shops, the social environment, neighbors with recreational facilities, and aesthetics. Logistic regression analysis showed that aesthetic (OR = 1.302; P = 0.05) and recreational facilities (OR = 1.297; P = 0.05) domains were related to being physically active.


Some perceived neighborhood environmental attributes were found to be associated with level of physical activity in adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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