Environmental factors may play an important role in the determination of physical activity behaviors.
This study used the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the association between the availability of objectively measured commercial physical activity-related instruction facilities and weekly physical activity participation among high school students outside of school physical education classes. A Negative Binomial count model was used to examine the number of days of vigorous physical activity (at least 30 minutes/day) per week and a Probit model was used to examine the probability of frequent (4 or more days/week) vigorous physical activity participation.
The results indicated that an additional instruction school per 10,000 capita per 10 square miles was associated with an 8-percent increase in the weekly number of days of vigorous physical activity participation and a 4 percentage point increase in the likelihood of frequent physical activity participation for female adolescents only. By income, associations were larger for low- versus high-income female youths.
Increased availability of local area physical activity-related instruction facilities may help to increase female high school students’ physical activity levels, particularly among low-income female students.
Isgor is with the Dept of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago. Powell is with the Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago.