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Deborah Salvo, Rodrigo S. Reis, Adriano A.F. Hino, Pedro C. Hallal, and Michael Pratt

Background:

There is little understanding about which sets of environmental features could simultaneously predict intensity-specific leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among Brazilians. The objectives were to identify the environmental correlates for intensity-specific LTPA, and to build the best-fit linear models to predict intensity-specific LTPA among adults of Curitiba, Brazil.

Methods:

Cross sectional study in Curitiba, Brazil (2009, n = 1461). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire and Abbreviated Neighborhood Environment Assessment Scale were used. Ninety-two perceived environment variables were categorized in 10 domains. LTPA was classified as walking for leisure (LWLK), moderate-intensity leisure-time PA (MLPA), vigorous-intensity leisure-time PA (VLPA), and moderate-to-vigorous intensity leisure-time PA (MVLPA). Best fitting linear predictive models were built.

Results:

Forty environmental variables were correlated to at least 1 LTPA outcome. The variability explained by the 4 best-fit models ranged from 17% (MLPA) to 46% (MVLPA). All models contained recreation areas and aesthetics variables; none included residential density predictors. At least 1 neighborhood satisfaction variable was present in each of the intensity-specific models, but not for overall MVLPA.

Conclusions:

This study demonstrates the simultaneous effect of sets of perceived environmental features on intensity-specific LTPA among Brazilian adults. The differences found compared with high-income countries suggest caution in generalizing results across settings.