Journal Article

Use of local area facilities for involvement in physical activity in Canada: insights for developing environmental and policy interventions

Mylène Riva, Lise Gauvin and Lucie Richard

in Health Promotion International

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 227-235
Published in print September 2007 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dam015
Use of local area facilities for involvement in physical activity in Canada: insights for developing environmental and policy interventions

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SUMMARY

Despite growing literature showing associations of availability and accessibility of facilities to greater levels of physical activity, considerably less is known about the actual extent of use of these facilities. The purpose of this study was to examine the individual (sex, age, education and extent of involvement in vigorous physical activity) and local area characteristics (socioeconomic status, locations and number of physical activity organizations per 1000 residents) associated with the use of local facilities for involvement in physical activity. A telephone survey was conducted with 3191 randomly selected adults in 22 non-contiguous areas across Canada. Use of local facilities for involvement in physical activity was examined among a subset of 1006 physically active adults. Data were analyzed using multilevel modeling. Findings revealed significant variation across areas in likelihood of use of local facilities among women but not men. Women in the 25–34 and 45–55 age categories were significantly more likely to use local facilities than women of 35–44 years of age. Women reporting greater levels of involvement in vigorous physical activity were more likely to use local area facilities. Higher area affluence and living in areas located in small urban towns were associated with greater use of local facilities among women only. None of the individual and local area characteristics was associated with the outcome among men. Understanding the processes associated with differential use of local area facilities for physical activity is essential for the implementation of effective environmental and policy interventions to increase physical activity in the population.

Keywords: use of physical activity facilities; multilevel analyses; small area analysis

Journal Article.  4545 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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