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J Phys Act Health. 2014 Mar;11(3):581-7. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2012-0077. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Longitudinal relations of perceived availability of neighborhood sport facilities with physical activity in adolescents: an analysis of potential moderators.

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School of Public Health, Dept of Community Medicine, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong.



Little is known about the longitudinal relations of environment attributes and leisure-time physical activity (PA) in adolescents, and the moderating effects of individual characteristics. This study examined the longitudinal association of the perceived availability of neighborhood sport facilities with leisure-time PA, and the potential moderating effects of age, past PA behavior, and weight status in adolescents.


Among 20,933 follow-up subjects (60.9% of 34,369 baseline subjects), 9993 from 32 Hong Kong secondary schools were successfully matched with baseline (mean duration 16 months; SD 1.7) and had complete information. At baseline and follow-up, respondents reported their leisure-time PA, weight, height, and the presence of sport facilities in the neighborhood.


Increased perceived availability of sport facilities from baseline to follow-up predicted more leisure-time PA at follow-up (β = 1.029; 95% CI: 1.0111.047) overall. This effect was modified by baseline PA, with a significant effect observed only among those who had engaged in leisure-time PA more than 3 times a week.


Increasing awareness of neighborhood sport facilities or building more such facilities may help active adolescents maintain or increase their leisure-time PA. However, more comprehensive multilevel interventions that aim at enhancing potential social, personal, and environmental PA-related factors may be needed to motivate inactive adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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