Even though there is increasing evidence that the built environment (BE) has an influence on leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), little is known about this relationship in developing countries. The objective of this study was to assess the associations between objective built environment characteristics and LTPA.
A cross-sectional multilevel study was conducted in 27 neighborhoods in which 1315 adults aged 18−65 years were surveyed. An adapted version of the IPAQ (long version) was used to assess LTPA. Objective BE characteristics were obtained using Geographic Information Systems. Associations were assessed using multilevel polytomous logistic regression.
Compared with inactive people, those who resided in neighborhoods with the highest tertile dedicated to parks (7.4% to 25.2%) were more likely to be regularly active (POR = 2.05, 95% CI = 1.13−3.72; P = 0.021). Those who resided in neighborhoods with presence of TransMilenio stations (mass public transportation system) were more likely to be irregularly active (POR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.07−1.50, P = 0.009) as compared with inactive people.
These findings showed that park density and availability of TransMilenio stations at neighborhood level are positively associated with LTPA. Public health efforts to address physical inactivity should consider the potential influences of urban planning and mass public transportation systems on health.
Gomez and Mosquera are with the División de salud, Fundacion FES Social, Bogota, Colombia. Gomez is also with the Facultad de medicina, Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia. Sarmiento is with the Dept of Social Medicine, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia. Parra is with the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. Schmid, Pratt, Neiman, and Rutt are with the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Jacoby is with the Dept of Healthy Eating and Active Living, Non-communicable Disease Unit, Pan American/World Health Organization, Washington, D.C. Cervero is with the Dept of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA. Ardila and Pinzón are with the Centro de Estudios Urbanos, Corporación de Universidades del Centro de la Ciudad, Bogota, Colombia.