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Does the social environment moderate associations of the built environment with Latinas' objectively-measured neighborhood outdoor physical activity?

  • Author(s): Perez, LG
  • Carlson, J
  • Slymen, DJ
  • Patrick, K
  • Kerr, J
  • Godbole, S
  • Elder, JP
  • Ayala, GX
  • Arredondo, EM
  • et al.

Favorable perceptions of the built and social neighborhood environment may promote outdoor physical activity (PA). However, little is known about their independent and interactive effects on neighborhood-specific outdoor PA. We examined associations of perceived built and social neighborhood environment factors, and their interactions, with objectively-measured neighborhood outdoor moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among a sample of Latina women in San Diego, CA. Analyses included baseline data collected in 2011-2013 from 86 Latinas with ≥ 2 days of combined accelerometer and global positioning system data and complete survey measures. We examined objective neighborhood outdoor MVPA within 500-meter home buffers. Generalized linear mixed models examined associations of 3 perceived built (e.g., sidewalk maintenance) and 3 social environmental (e.g., safety from crime) factors with engaging in any daily neighborhood outdoor MVPA. Models tested interactions between the built and social environmental factors. Although the perceived neighborhood environmental factors were not significantly related to daily neighborhood outdoor MVPA, we found 2 significant interactions: perceived sidewalk maintenance x safety from crime (p = 0.05) and neighborhood aesthetics x neighborhood social cohesion (p = 0.03). Sidewalk maintenance was positively related to daily neighborhood outdoor MVPA only among Latinas that reported low levels of safety from crime. Neighborhood aesthetics was positively related to daily neighborhood outdoor MVPA only among Latinas with high neighborhood social cohesion. Findings suggest several built and social environmental factors interact to influence Latinas' neighborhood outdoor MVPA. Interventions are needed targeting both built and social neighborhood environmental factors favorable to outdoor PA in the neighborhood.

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