Interaction of Perceived Neighborhood Walkability and Self-Efficacy on Physical Activity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Few social ecological studies have considered the joint effects of intrapersonal and environmental influences on physical activity. This study investigated the interaction of self-efficacy and perceived neighborhood walkability in predicting neighborhood-based physical activity and how this relationship varied by gender and body mass index.


Data were derived from a cross-sectional investigation of environmental and psychosocial correlates of physical activity among adults (n = 585). Participants completed a detailed 7-day physical activity log booklet, along with a questionnaire that included measures of neighborhood walkability, self-efficacy, and several sociodemographic items. Factorial analysis of variance tests were used to examine the main effects of and interaction between walkability and self-efficacy.


In predicting neighborhood-based physical activity, significant interactions were observed between self-efficacy and neighborhood walkability for females (but not for males) and for overweight/obese participants (but not for healthy weight individuals). Women and overweight/obese individuals with low self-efficacy demonstrated substantially greater physical activity when living in a high walkable neighborhood.


Physical activity research and promotion efforts should take into account both environmental and personal factors and the interrelationships between them that influence active living.

Kaczynski is with the Dept of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Robertson-Wilson is with the Dept of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Decloe is with the Dept of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.