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The relative influence of individual, social and physical environment determinants of physical activity


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  • Giles-Corti, Billie
  • Donovan, Robert J.
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    Environmental determinants of health are receiving growing attention in the literature, although there is little empirical research in this area. The Study on Environmental and Individual Determinants of Physical Activity (known as the SEID project) was a social ecological project that examined the relative influence of individual, social environmental and physical environmental determinants of recreational physical activity. It involved a community survey of 1803 healthy workers and home-makers aged 18-59 years living in a 408Â km2 area of metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. Physical environmental determinants were mainly conceptualised as spatial access to popular recreational facilities. Overall, 59% of respondents exercised as recommended. Recreational facilities located near home were used by more respondents than facilities located elsewhere. The most frequently used facilities were informal: the streets (45.6%); public open space (28.8%) and the beach (22.7%). The physical environment's directs the influence on exercising as recommended was found to be secondary to individual and social environmental determinants. Nevertheless, accessible facilities determined whether or not they were used and in this way, support and enhance the achievement of recommended levels of physical activity behaviour by providing opportunities. The results suggest that access to a supportive physical environment is necessary, but may be insufficient to increase recommended levels of physical activity in the community. Complementary strategies are required that aim to influence individual and social environmental factors. Given the popularity of walking in the community, it is recommended that greater emphasis be placed on creating streetscapes that enhance walking for recreation and transport.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 12 (June)
    Pages: 1793-1812

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:54:y:2002:i:12:p:1793-1812

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    Keywords: Physical activity Spatial access Environment Social policy Health promotion Western Australia;


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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Industrial Organization > Industry studies > Sports, recreation and tourism > Recreation
    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mahmood, Atiya & Chaudhury, Habib & Michael, Yvonne L. & Campo, Michael & Hay, Kara & Sarte, Ann, 2012. "A photovoice documentation of the role of neighborhood physical and social environments in older adults’ physical activity in two metropolitan areas in North America," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1180-1192.
    2. Sallis, James F. & Frank, Lawrence D. & Saelens, Brian E. & Kraft, M. Katherine, 2004. "Active transportation and physical activity: opportunities for collaboration on transportation and public health research," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 249-268, May.
    3. Hyytinen, Ari & Lahtonen, Jukka, 2013. "The effect of physical activity on long-term income," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 129-137.
    4. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/311 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Scott Bennet & Nikolaos Yiannakoulias & Allison Williams & Peter Kitchen, 2012. "Playground Accessibility and Neighbourhood Social Interaction Among Parents," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 108(2), pages 199-213, September.
    6. Sessions, John G. & Yu, Ge & Wall, Martin, 2011. "Social Capital and Health : A Longitudinal Analysis from the British Household Panel Survey," Department of Economics Working Papers 37934, University of Bath, Department of Economics.
    7. Legh-Jones, Hannah & Moore, Spencer, 2012. "Network social capital, social participation, and physical inactivity in an urban adult population," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1362-1367.
    8. Leonor Gallardo & Pablo Burillo & Marta García-Tascón & Juan Salinero, 2009. "The Ranking of the Regions With Regard to Their Sports Facilities to Improve Their Planning in Sport: The Case of Spain," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 94(2), pages 297-317, November.


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