201993 Social and physical environments of sports and exercise reported among high school students in the American Time Use Survey

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:45 AM

Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, PhD, MPH , Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Alhambra, CA
David Berrigan, PhD, MPH , Applied Research Programs, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Rachel Ballard-Barbash, MD, MPH , Applied Research Programs, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Frank Perna, PhD , Health Promotion Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Barry Graubard, PhD , Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Audie A. Atienza, PhD , Health Promotion Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Background: Studies of the built environment and physical activity largely measure the presence, availability of, and access and distance to resources (e.g., parks, health clubs). Unfortunately, this research approach provides limited information about the extent to which individuals actually use environmental features or visit particular settings. Time use data offer a novel research strategy to examine where and with whom physical activity occurs. The current study examined the social and physical contexts of physical activity among adolescents in the nationally-representative American Time Use Survey (years 2003-2006). Design/Methodology: The sample consisted of high school students (ages 15-18 years) reporting at least one bout of sports or exercise (N = 996). During the interview, participants reported where (e.g., outdoors, home, school, someone else's house, health club/gym, work) and with whom (e.g., alone, family, friends and acquaintances, coworkers) each bout occurred. Sample-weighted multinomial logistic regression analyses compared the proportion of bouts occurring in each environment by age, gender, and race/ethnicity controlling for family income, season, weekend/weekday, and time of day. Results: Compared with 15-year olds, a larger proportion of exercise bouts among 18-year olds occurred in a gym/health club (7% vs. 3%); and a smaller proportion occurred at home (13% vs. 23%), at someone else's house (4% vs. 12%), and at school (15% vs. 26%) (p's < .001). Girls were more likely to exercise with family (21% vs. 15%) and at a gym (5% vs. 2%), and less likely to exercise outdoors (15% vs. 23%) and with friends (43% vs. 51%) than boys (p's < .001). Exercising with friends was the most common among Non-Hispanic black (57% of bouts) and Asian (59% of bouts) students, and Native-American/Alaskan Natives were the most likely to exercise outdoors (37% of bouts). Conclusions: Information about the social and physical contexts of adolescents' sports and exercise can help guide the selection of future environmental targets for investigation and intervention.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how novel methodologies such as time use studies can enhance physical activity research. 2. Discuss how preferences for and access to physical activity environments may differ by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. 3. Articulate how time use data can help guide the development of targeted interventions and policies to increase physical activity in specific populations.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct a program of research examining environmental determinants of physical activity across different age groups. I have published 26 peer-reviewed articles on this topic and received several extramural research grants to support this work. I have a Ph.D in Phychology and Social Behavior with an emphasis in Health psychology and a Master of Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.