Journal of Community Health

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 967–974 | Cite as

The Relationship Between the Social Environment and Lifestyle-Related Physical Activity in a Low-Income African American Inner-City Southern Neighborhood

  • Lori Andersen
  • Jeanette Gustat
  • Adam B. Becker
Original Paper


The social ecological model was used to examine individual, interpersonal, and neighborhood characteristics related to lifestyle-related physical activity (PA) in a low-income African American (AA) population in New Orleans, Louisiana. Interviewers administered surveys to randomly-sampled household participants from three low-income, AA neighborhoods in New Orleans, Louisiana. Questions included the social and physical environment, physical activity, interpersonal factors, demographics, height and weight. Logistic regression multivariable models were built predicting whether the respondent met PA guidelines, controlling for neighborhood. Females were less as likely to engage in lifestyle-related PA compared to males (OR 0.46, CI 0.30–0.70). Support specific for PA was correlated with engaging in lifestyle-related PA (OR 1.45, CI 1.14–1.83). The individual and social environment should be considered for increasing PA in AA. Interventions targeting the AA population could consider ways of enhancing social support for PA.


Lifestyle-related physical activity Social-ecological model African Americans Social support Neighborhood 



This journal article is a product of a Prevention Research Center and was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number #1-U48-DP-000047 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions in this journal article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors thank the PACE steering committee for their dedicated time to the project.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Ethical standard

All study protocol and survey instrument were approved by the Institutional Review Board at Tulane University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori Andersen
    • 1
  • Jeanette Gustat
    • 2
  • Adam B. Becker
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesTulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyTulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Mary Ann and J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program, Stanley Manne Children’s Research InstituteAnn and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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