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  • Author: Lilian G. Perez x
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Lilian G. Perez, Elva M. Arredondo, Thomas L. McKenzie, Margarita Holguin, John P. Elder and Guadalupe X. Ayala

Background:

Greater neighborhood social cohesion is linked to fewer depressive symptoms and greater physical activity, but the role of physical activity on the relationship between neighborhood social cohesion and depression is poorly understood. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of physical activity on the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms.

Methods:

Multivariate logistic regression tested the moderation of self-reported leisure-time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (LTMVPA) and active use of parks or recreational facilities on the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms among 295 randomly selected Latino adults who completed a face-to-face interview.

Results:

After adjusting for age, gender, and income, neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms were inversely related (OR = 0.8; 95% CI: 0.5–1.2). Active use of parks or recreational facilities moderated the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms but meeting the recommendations for LTMVPA did not. Latinos who reported active use of parks or recreational facilities and higher levels of neighborhood social cohesion had fewer depressive symptoms than peers who did not use these spaces.

Conclusions:

Future studies are needed to test strategies for promoting active use of parks or recreational facilities to address depression in Latinos.

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Lilian G. Perez, Terry L. Conway, Adrian Bauman, Jacqueline Kerr, John P. Elder, Elva M. Arredondo and James F. Sallis

Background: Associations between the built environment and physical activity (PA) may vary by sociodemographic factors. However, such evidence from international studies is limited. This study tested the moderating effects of sociodemographic factors on associations between perceived environment and self-reported total PA among adults from the International Prevalence Study. Methods: Between 2002 and 2003, adults from 9 countries (N = 10,258) completed surveys assessing total PA (International Physical Activity Questionnaire-short), perceived environment, and sociodemographics (age, gender, and education). Total PA was dichotomized as meeting/not meeting (a) high PA levels and (b) minimum PA guidelines. Logistic models tested environment by sociodemographic interactions (24 total). Results: Education and gender moderated the association between safety from crime and meeting high PA levels (interaction P < .05), with inverse associations found only among the high education group and men. Education and gender also moderated associations of safety from crime and the presence of transit stops with meeting minimum PA guidelines (interaction P < .05), with positive associations found for safety from crime only among women and presence of transit stops only among men and the high education group. Conclusions: The limited number of moderating effects found provides support for population-wide environment–PA associations. International efforts to improve built environments are needed to promote health-enhancing PA and maintain environmental sustainability.