The Relationship of Physical Activity and the Built Environment within the Context of Self-Determination Theory
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- Gay, J.L., Saunders, R.P. & Dowda, M. ann. behav. med. (2011) 42: 188. doi:10.1007/s12160-011-9292-y
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Evidence is emerging of the combined effects of psychosocial and environmental determinants on exercise.
This study aims to examine the moderating effects of convenience, facilities at places of worship, access, crime/safety, and neighborhood characteristics on the relationship between exercise and psychosocial needs satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness).
Adults from four cities enrolling in a weight loss program (N = 477; 72.1% White, BMI = 32.21 ± 7.67) completed questionnaires on current exercise levels, perceptions of the environment for exercise, and autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
There were significant interaction effects for neighborhood characteristics with all three psychological needs satisfaction, and for convenience with competence and relatedness, such that the relationship between psychosocial needs satisfaction and exercise is stronger for participants with better perceptions of convenience and neighborhood characteristics.
Results indicate that the relationship between exercise and autonomy, competence, and relatedness is different for low and high perceptions of convenience to places for exercise and neighborhood characteristics.