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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010 Oct 18;7:76. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-7-76.

Distribution of physical activity facilities in Scotland by small area measures of deprivation and urbanicity.

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MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, 4 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow, G12 8RZ, UK.



The aim of this study was to examine the distribution of physical activity facilities by area-level deprivation in Scotland, adjusting for differences in urbanicity, and exploring differences between and within the four largest Scottish cities.


We obtained a list of all recreational physical activity facilities in Scotland. These were mapped and assigned to datazones. Poisson and negative binomial regression models were used to investigate associations between the number of physical activity facilities relative to population size and quintile of area-level deprivation.


The results showed that prior to adjustment for urbanicity, the density of all facilities lessened with increasing deprivation from quintiles 2 to 5. After adjustment for urbanicity and local authority, the effect of deprivation remained significant but the pattern altered, with datazones in quintile 3 having the highest estimated mean density of facilities. Within-city associations were identified between the number of physical activity facilities and area-level deprivation in Aberdeen and Dundee, but not in Edinburgh or Glasgow.


In conclusion, area-level deprivation appears to have a significant association with the density of physical activity facilities and although overall no clear pattern was observed, affluent areas had fewer publicly owned facilities than more deprived areas but a greater number of privately owned facilities.

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