F-12 Thematic Poster - Built Environment & Active Commuting: JUNE 3, 2011 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: ROOM: 403
Walking is a popular form of physical activity and a convenient option to prevent chronic diseases. However most of the evidence on this topic derives from high-income countries. Little is known on the association between environmental factors and walking for leisure in low and middle income countries.
PURPOSE: To describe walking for leisure and to identify personal and environmental factors associated with it among residents of three state capitals from different regions of Brazil.
METHODS: Cross sectional phone surveys were conducted in Curitiba, Recife and Vitória (n=6,166). The questionnaire included sociodemographic characteristics, physical activity (measured using the leisure-time and commuting sections of International Physical Activity Questionnaire - IPAQ - long version) and perceived environment characteristics. A cutoff of 150 min/wk was used for classifying individuals in terms of walking for leisure. The perceived environment data was adapted from the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS), and four variables were created to represent environmental perceptions of safety (walking/bicycling during the day and night) and accessibility (sidewalks and traffic). Multivariable analysis tested the associations between walking for leisure and perceived environment characteristics across the cities. Logistic regression models were used to estimate adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.
RESULTS: The proportions of respondents that met physical activity recommendations through walking for leisure were 9.6%, 16.0% and 8.8% in Curitiba, Recife and Vitoria respectively. Practicing more than 150 min/wk of walking for leisure was significantly (p<0.05) associated with younger age in all cities, higher education and better self-rated health in Recife and Vitória, and with no accessibility to nearby sidewalks in Vitória.
CONCLUSIONS: Personal factors were stronger predictors of physical activity levels than were environmental factors in the three cities. Only one environmental variable (sidewalks in the streets nearby) was associated with walking for leisure in Vitória.
Supported by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC - contract U48/DP000060-01;Acknowledgments: GUIA project team.