Abstract P276: Gender Associated With Youth Physical Activity Independent of Neighborhood Safety Factors
Introduction: Low levels of physical activity in youth remains a significant public health problem, particularly among urban youth where less than 30% achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day. Elucidating the determinants of urban youth physical activity levels is important for informing programming efforts. Ecological models of health behavior recognize the role that environmental features play in activity levels. To date, the role of neighborhood safety on urban youth activity levels has yet to be fully considered.
Hypothesis: Neighborhood safety is expected to be associated with physical activity levels, independent of known determinants of youth activity levels including gender, race, age, current alcohol and tobacco use, overweight status and poor mental health.
METHODS: Cross-sectional data collected by the Centers for Disease Control funded Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) were used for his analysis. Participants were 9th-12th grade high school students enrolled in the Philadelphia school district. Bivariate logistical regression accounting for the YRBS sampling procedures was used to examine the association between perceived neighborhood safety and physical activity levels. Perceived neighborhood safety was defined as feeling safe walking in the neighborhood during the day and at night. Being physically active was defined as achieving at least 60 minutes of activity on 5 of more days of the week.
RESULTS: The weighted sample (N=35,005) were mostly Black (57.5%), 50% were male and 66% were 16 years and older. Neighborhood safety was significantly associated with activity levels: 42% of youth who perceived their neighborhood as safe were active as compared to 32% who reported their neighborhood as unsafe (χ2= 1.48, p<.05). However, in a fully controlled regression model, gender remained as the only significant correlate of activity. Specifically, males reported a 2-fold greater odds of being active than females (OR=2.06, p<.001).
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that independent of neighborhood safety and other risk behaviors for inactivity, gender emerges as the only significant correlate of physical activity. Gender specific programming to improve physical activity in urban adolescent females is urgently needed.
Author Disclosures: A.S. Wiemken: None. F. Patterson: None. A. Hanlon: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.