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Am J Public Health. 2011 Nov;101(11):2102-10. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.196030. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

The association between social factors and physical activity among low-income adults living in public housing.

Author information

1
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, New York, NY 10032, USA. rshelton@post.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We sought to examine the association between structural, functional, and normative social factors and physical activity among urban, low-income, racially/ethnically diverse adults.

METHODS:

We conducted a baseline cross-sectional survey among residents of 12 low-income housing communities in metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts. Participants were also asked to wear a pedometer for 5 days. We analyzed complete data from 1112 residents (weighted n = 1635).

RESULTS:

Residents with smaller social networks were significantly less physically active than were residents with larger social networks (b = -1503.7; P = .01) and residents with conflicting demands were more active than were residents with none (b = 601.6; P = .01), when we controlled for employment status, gender, poverty level, current health status, age, and perceived safety. Social networks were most strongly associated with physical activity among Hispanics and younger residents (aged 18-35 years).

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings indicate that social factors, including social networks and role-related conflicting demands, may be important drivers of physical activity among low-income populations. Researchers and practitioners should consider social factors in developing multilevel physical activity interventions for this population.

PMID:
21330588
PMCID:
PMC3193546
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2010.196030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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