Little is known about the longitudinal relations of environment attributes and leisure-time physical activity (PA) in adolescents, and the moderating effects of individual characteristics. This study examined the longitudinal association of the perceived availability of neighborhood sport facilities with leisure-time PA, and the potential moderating effects of age, past PA behavior, and weight status in adolescents.
Among 20,933 follow-up subjects (60.9% of 34,369 baseline subjects), 9993 from 32 Hong Kong secondary schools were successfully matched with baseline (mean duration 16 months; SD 1.7) and had complete information. At baseline and follow-up, respondents reported their leisure-time PA, weight, height, and the presence of sport facilities in the neighborhood.
Increased perceived availability of sport facilities from baseline to follow-up predicted more leisure-time PA at follow-up (β = 1.029; 95% CI: 1.011–1.047) overall. This effect was modified by baseline PA, with a significant effect observed only among those who had engaged in leisure-time PA more than 3 times a week.
Increasing awareness of neighborhood sport facilities or building more such facilities may help active adolescents maintain or increase their leisure-time PA. However, more comprehensive multilevel interventions that aim at enhancing potential social, personal, and environmental PA-related factors may be needed to motivate inactive adolescents.
Wong, Ho, Lo, Mak, and Lam are with the School of Public Health, Dept of Community Medicine, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong. Cerin is with the Institute of Human Performance, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong.