This study examined changes in multiple physical activity domains during the transition out of high school and psychosocial and environmental determinants of these changes.
A 1-year prospective study was designed. The baseline sample was composed of 244 last-year high school students (58.6% female) from Valencia, Spain. Follow-up rate was 46%. Physical activity and potential determinants were measured by the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire and other evaluated scales in 2 waves.
Total physical activity and active commuting (AC) decreased, respectively, by 21% and 36%, only in males. At time 1, access to car/motorbike (inverse), planning/psychosocial barriers (inverse), street connectivity (positive) and parental education (inverse) were significantly associated with AC (P < .05). Prospectively, the increase in distance to school/workplace was associated with AC decrease among males (P < .001). In both genders, there was a decrease in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA; –35% in males, –43% in females). At time 1, self-efficacy and social support were positive correlates of LTPA (P < .05). Social support decreases were associated with reductions in LTPA for males (P < .05).
Several psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity change were identified, and these are promising targets for interventions.
Molina-García (firstname.lastname@example.org) is with the Dept of Teaching of Musical, Visual, and Corporal Expression; Queralt is with the Dept of Nursing; Castillo is with the Dept of Social Psychology; University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain. Sallis is with the Dept of Family & Preventive Medicine, University of California at San Diego.