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  • Author: Karen E. Peterson x
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Karen E. Peterson, Tamara Dubowitz, Anne M. Stoddard, Philip J. Troped, Glorian Sorensen and Karen M. Emmons

Background:

Persistent disparities suggest that multiple aspects of social context may influence leisure-time physical activity levels and weight status in multiethnic, working-class populations.

Methods:

Among participants in two randomized, controlled intervention trials (n = 1,969 in 10 health centers; n = 1,545 in 26 manufacturing businesses) we used general linear mixed models to examine the relationship of variables posited by a social-contextual framework for behavior change with h/wk of self-reported leisure-time physical activity and with body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/(height (m))2) at baseline, adjusting for clustering within study site.

Results:

Age, sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic position were independently associated with leisure-time physical activity in both settings; multivariable models explained 15% of the variance in health centers and 11% in small businesses. Leisure-time physical activity and motivation to change lifestyle behaviors were inversely associated with BMI, adjusting for individual, interpersonal, and neighborhood factors. Models explained 12% of variance in BMI in health centers and 10% in small businesses.

Conclusions:

A social-contextual framework highlights the contribution of social class and race/ethnicity in the variance in leisure-time physical activity and weight status but suggests other behavioral influences vary in multiethnic, working-class populations.

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Pamela J. Surkan, Louise M. Ryan, Harvey W. Bidwell, Daniel R. Brooks, Karen E. Peterson and Matthew W. Gillman

Background:

Limited data address psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity.

Methods:

We assessed associations of regular and recent leisure-time physical activity with physical/mental well-being, social support, and civic trust and reciprocity in a working-class Boston neighborhood. We surveyed 409 adults in 1999 to 2000 using methodology from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Results:

Adjusted for demographic variables, correlates of regular physical activity included feeling energetic/healthy (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3 to 2.3 for each one of four categories), feeling worried/tense/anxious (OR = 0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.0), pain interfering with usual activities (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.8), feeling sad/blue/depressed (OR = 0.7, 95% CI, 0.5 to 0.9), inadequate sleep/rest (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.6 to 1.0) and feeling satisfied with life (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.6, for very satisfied versus other). We found similar associations for participation in any physical activity.

Conclusions:

Lack of energy, anxiety, pain, sadness, poor sleep, and dissatisfaction with life were associated with low physical activity levels.