The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3236.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 12:30 PM

Abstract #60923

Does it matter where you live? Effects of individual and neighborhood characteristics on perceived exercise environment

Sarah Boslaugh, PhD1, Douglas Luke, PhD2, Matthew W. Kreuter, PhD, MPH2, Ross C. Brownson, PhD3, and Kim Naleid, BS2. (1) Health Communications Research Laboratory, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Ave, 4th floor, St. Louis, MO 63104, 314-977-4098,, (2) Health Communication Research Laboratory, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63104, (3) Prevention Research Center, Saint Louis University School of Public Health, 3545 Lafayette Ave., Salus Center, St. Louis, MO 63104

Most American adults are inactive, and ethnic minorities and the poor are even less active than the general population. Although it is widely accepted that an individual’s activity level is influenced by personal, social and environmental factors, few studies have examined the relative contributions of each to activity-related outcomes. We used Hierarchical Linear Modeling to examine how individual factors (race, income) and neighborhood-level factors (percent Black, median house value, percent living in the same house five years ago, percent using public transportation to get to work, percent walking or cycling to work) influenced individual’s perceptions of their neighborhood’s suitability for physical activity. Individual-level data were collected through a survey conducted among 1073 adults in Metropolitan St. Louis, MO, who were recruited from two public health centers and one worksite. Neighborhood-level data was drawn from the 2000 U.S. Census. The hierarchical model found important contributions from variables at both levels to perceptions of neighborhood suitability for exercise, with greater explanatory power for the pleasantness and safety of an individual’s neighborhood (R2 = .418) than for the availability of facilities (R2 = .099). Both individual race (p=.019) and neighborhood racial composition (p=.000) were important predictors of perceived neighborhood pleasantness, with Blacks perceiving their neighborhoods as less pleasant and neighborhoods with a higher percentage of Black residents perceived as less pleasant. In a model testing the interaction of individual race and neighborhood racial composition, negative perceptions of neighborhood pleasantness as neighborhood percent Black increased were 146% greater for Blacks than for Whites.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Physical Activity, Urban Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Healthy Lifestyle Initiatives on the State and Local Level

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA