Abstract P185: Investigation of Community and Home Factors in Child Physical Activity Levels
It is known that physical activity (PA) behavior is influenced by many factors within the social ecological model. Using results from parent surveys distributed after their children’s completion of a cardiovascular risk screening program, we explored the relationship between home and community environments on the amount of PA in which children engaged. Our hypothesis was that more immediate factors such as parent activity would have a greater impact on child activity than factors in their community environments. A large sample (n=450) of children (ages 5-10 years) were examined. Children’s physical activity was assessed by adding the total minutes of active time weekly. Parent physical activity was measured with two self report items regarding the number of days per week they were active. Two scales were constructed to evaluate to effects of the home (9 items; α = .829) and community (16 items; α = .868). The home environment scale measured elements related to activity opportunities and home schedules; the community scale assessed presence of playgrounds, or safe sidewalks, for example. To assess associations between factors and children’s PA, we conducted a linear stepwise regression with child age, parent PA, Home scale, and Community scale as predictors and the log transformed total weekly activity time as the dependent variable. Sixteen percent of children’s PA was explained by the tested model. Figure 1 provides specific information about each variable. The home scale had the greatest weight (β=0.360, p<.001), and proved to have a larger predictive effect than parent PA. These findings are significant for identifying which aspects of a child’s surrounding to intervene for maximum impact on physical activity. Figure 1. R² Change between model levels
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.