Characteristics of the environment and physical activity in midlife: Findings from UK Biobank.
Preventive Medicine 2018 ; 118: 150-158.
PubMed ID : 30367974
PMCID : PMC6344227
Characteristics of the environment influence health and may promote physical activity. We explored the associations between neighborhood environmental characteristics grouped within five facets (spaces for physical activity, walkability, disturbance, natural environment, and the sociodemographic environment) and objective ('recorded') and self-reported ('reported') physical activity in adults from UK Biobank. Recorded activity was assessed using wrist-worn accelerometers (2013-2015, n = 65,967) and time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), walking, and walking for pleasure was self-reported (2006-2010, n = 337,822). Associations were assessed using linear and multinomial logistic regression models and data were analyzed in 2017. We found participants living in areas with higher concentrations of air pollution recorded and reported lower levels of physical activity and those in rural areas and more walkable areas had higher levels of both recorded and reported activity. Some associations varied according to the specificity of the outcome, for example, those living in the most deprived areas were less likely to record higher levels of MVPA (upper tertile: RRR: 0.80 95% CI: 0.74, 0.86) but were more likely to report higher levels of walking (upper tertile: RRR: 1.09, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.13). Environmental characteristics have the potential to contribute to different physical activities but interventions which focus on a single environmental attribute or physical activity outcome may not have the greatest benefits.