Individual and Socioecological Correlates of Physical Activity Among Arab and Jewish College Students in Israel

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Ample research has assessed correlates of physical activity (PA) among college students; however, socioenvironmental correlates of PA have not been assessed in Arab and Jewish Israeli college students.

Methods:

Cross-sectional study of 198 Arab and Jewish physical education college students. The dependent variable was meeting the CDC/ACSM guidelines for moderate/vigorous PA. Independent variables consisted of individual variables (eg, ethnicity, gender, religious observance) and socioenvironmental variables (eg, street lighting, family support, exercise facilities). Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used.

Results:

Thirty-three percent of the students met the recommended guidelines for PA. Individual variables were more highly correlated with PA than socioenvironmental variables. In the final logistic-regression model 3 individual covariates independently predicted PA: gender, race/ethnicity, and self-efficacy. Access to open space was the only environmental variable significantly correlated with PA.

Conclusions:

The results underscore the need to implement an intervention program aimed at promoting the recommended levels of PA among Arab and Jewish Israeli physical education college students, while tailoring the intervention to individual risk markers for physical inactivity (eg, race/ethnicity, gender).

Shuval, Weissblueth, and Araida are with the Ohalo College of Physical Education, Qatzrin, Israel. Brezis is with the Center for Clinical Quality and Safety, Hadassah-Hebrew University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel. DiPietro is with the John B. Pierce Laboratory and the Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.