Rural adults participate in lower levels of physical activity (PA) than urban or suburban adults. Due to known effects of the environment on PA participation, this study examined perceived ecological correlates (social, environmental, and policy) of domain- and intensity-specific PA in rural adults.
A cross-sectional survey was completed by 143 individuals residing in the rural Midwest. PA was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire; correlates of PA were measured using a modified version of the PA in Communities Questionnaire. Multiple regression analyses were conducted using general linear modeling.
Predictors of PA included: employers providing time for exercise (P = .0003); available shopping malls (P = .0032); activity-friendly community aspects (P = .0048); favorable policy attitudes (P = .0018): participation in sports (P < .0001); encouragement from friends (P = .0136); awareness (P = .0015) and use (P = .0113) of community resources; and having hills (P = .0371).
Correlates of PA in various domains and intensities in rural adults are multifactorial and occur at different levels of the environment. Findings from this study can be used to tailor PA interventions in rural adults, with respect to specific domains and intensity in which the PA occurs.