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Prev Med. 2011 Mar-Apr;52(3-4):234-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.12.008. Epub 2010 Dec 31.

Perceived environmental correlates of physical activity for leisure and transportation in Curitiba, Brazil.

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Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.



Physical activity (PA) has consistently been associated with perceived environmental characteristics.


To examine the association between perceived environmental attributes and various forms of PA in Curitiba, Brazil.


A cross-sectional phone survey of adults was conducted in 2008 (n=2097). The questionnaire included environmental perceptions and PA. Principal components analysis was used to identify groups of perceived environmental attributes. Multivariate methods tested the associations of PA with perceived environment characteristics.


Perceptions of moderate and high personal safety were positively associated with walking for transportation (53.0%, 53.1% vs. 47.3%, both adjusted ORs [aOR]=1.5). Number of destinations within a 10-minute walk (4 and >6 vs. <3) was positively associated with bicycling for transportation (7.8%, 9.9% vs.4.8%, aOR=2.5). Perception of high accessibility was positively associated with MVPA during leisure time (35.1% vs. 19.1, aOR=1.7) and meeting recommendations for total PA (58.7% vs. 45.1%, aOR=1.4). Perception of high quality of the pedestrian space (57.3% vs. 46.5%, aOR=1.4) and moderate levels of personal safety (54.3% vs. 47.6%, aOR=1.3) were also positively associated with meeting recommendations for total PA.


Different environmental attributes were associated with different PA outcomes, suggesting that these relationships are complex and may differ from those in high-income countries.

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