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Association between Physical Activity and Neighborhood Environment among Middle-Aged Adults in Shanghai

Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Publication Date
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine


Objective. To determine the perceived neighborhood environment (NE) variables that are associated with physical activity (PA) in urban areas in China. Methods. Parents of students at two junior high schools in Shanghai, one downtown and the other in the suburbs, were recruited to participate in the study. They completed an International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale-Abbreviated (NEWS-A) survey. Participant physical activity was also objectively measured using accelerometers. Results. Participants from downtown areas were more positively associated with transportation PA and leisure-time PA than respondents living in the suburbs. Residential density was found to be a significant positive predictor of recreational or leisure-based PA. Street connectivity was negatively associated with leisure time PA for respondents. Moderate-vigorous PA was found to be negatively associated with traffic safety. There were no significant associations between environmental factors and transportation PA. Women had higher levels of moderate-vigorous PA than men. Conclusions. The results of this study demonstrate that residential density, street connectivity, and traffic safety have a significant impact on Chinese middle-aged adults' PA, suggesting urban planning strategies for promoting positive public health outcomes.

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