Neighborhood Recreation Facilities and Facility Membership Are Jointly Associated with Objectively Measured Physical Activity
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Efforts to increase physical activity have traditionally included either individual-level interventions (e.g., educational campaigns) or neighborhood-level interventions (e.g., additional recreational facilities). Little work has addressed the interaction between spatial proximity and individual characteristics related to facility use. We aimed to better understand the synergistic impact of both physical activity environments and recreational facility membership on objectively measured physical activity. Using the New York City Physical Activity and Transit (PAT) survey (n = 644), we evaluated associations between counts of commercial physical activity facilities within 1 km of participants’ home addresses with both facility membership and accelerometry-measured physical activity. Individuals living near more facilities were more likely to report membership (adjusted odds ratio for top versus bottom quartile of facility count: 3.77 (95% CI 1.54–9.20). Additionally, while amount of facilities within a neighborhood was associated with more physical activity, this association was stronger for individuals reporting gym membership. Interventions aiming to increase physical activity should consider both neighborhood amenities and potential barriers, including the financial and social barriers of membership. Evaluation of neighborhood opportunities must expand beyond physical presence to consider multiple dimensions of accessibility.
KeywordsAccess Neighborhood Built environment Gym Physical activity
Global Physical Activity Questionnaire
National Establishment Time-Series
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
New York City
Adjusted odds ratio
Physical Activity and Transit
Standard Industrial Classification
The authors would like to thank Dr. Donna Eisenhower and Katherine Bartley at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene who assisted with data acquisition and interpretation.
TK conceived of the paper, conducted the data analyses, and drafted the text. JH substantially revised the text and incorporated coauthor feedback prior to submission. AR acquired the PATS data and verified the analyses, and GL acquired the NETS data, and both advised TK on analyses. DS geoprocessed the study participant addresses and business locations and documented the geographical information system methods. KN, GL, and AR contributed to framing the paper and the interpretation of data and the development of the paper. All authors critically reviewed drafts and approved the final manuscript.
This work was supported by Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US), a grant from The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (grant number K01HD067390), and a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIA-NIH 1R01AG049970-01A1).
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