Body Mass Index and Environmental Supports for Physical Activity Among Active and Inactive Residents of a U.S. Southeastern County

Dawn K. Wilson, Barbara Ainsworth, Heather Bowles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Objective: This study examined the associations between body mass index (BMI) and environmental supports for physical activity in active and inactive adults based on national recommendations for physical activity and walking. Residents of a southeastern community (N = 1,111; ages 18 - 75 years) were contacted using a random-digit-dial method and were asked about neighborhood and community social and environmental supports for physical activity. Main Outcome Measure: Physical activity was measured using the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) physical activity module. Results: There was a positive association between higher physical activity and walking levels and lower BMI levels. Trusting neighborhoods having recreational facilities present, and using trails were each associated with twice the odds of being overweight versus obese among those not meeting the national physical activity recommendations. Using trails was also associated with 2.7 times the odds of being overweight as opposed to obese among participants who were not regular walkers. Conclusion: Improving environmental supports for access and use of trails and recreational facilities may be important for future environmental interventions aimed at reducing obesity among inactive individuals.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)710-717
    Number of pages8
    JournalHealth Psychology
    Volume26
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

    Keywords

    • environmental supports
    • obesity
    • physical activity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Applied Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health

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