Perceived social, environmental, and policy determinants of physical activity in rural midwestern adults
Background: Rural adults engage in less physical activity and are less likely to meet activity recommendations than urban or suburban adults. Ecological models propose that the environment impacts physical activity on several different levels. Understanding environmental factors that are associated with this behavior can help design interventions for increasing activity levels. Objectives: This study examined social, environmental, and policy factors that may be associated with whether one is active in specific physical activity domains (i.e. work, leisure time, etc.) and intensities (i.e. vigorous, moderate, etc.), to provide a clearer picture of what enables and inhibits physical activity in this population. Methods: Collaborating with community partners, a cross-sectional survey was mailed to 143 adults residing in a rural Midwestern county that assessed perceived social, environmental, and policy influences of physical activity. Multiple regressions were conducted to measure the associations between those determinants and physical activity. Results: Social factors were associated with total physical activity; environmental factors were associated with active transport, house and yard work, vigorous activity, and walking; and policy factors were associated with physical activity at work and moderate-intensity activity. Conclusion: Factors at different levels of an ecological model are associated with physical activity in various domains and intensities in rural adults. Findings from this study were shared with the community and can be used to tailor physical activity interventions in rural adults, with respect to the specific domains and intensity in which the physical activity occurs.
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe at least three environmental, social, or policy factors that may be associated with physical activity in rural adults.
Identify at least two factors that could be targeted for intervention for increasing domain- or intensity-specific physical activity in rural adults.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Rural Populations
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator for this research, and have also worked on other funded projects examining physical activity and healthy eating in the rural population. My scientific interests include promoting physical activity and healthy eating, and preventing chronic diseases through healthy behaviors.
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.