The environment and physical activity: The influence of psychosocial, perceived and built environmental factors

Ralph Maddison*, Steven Vander Hoorn, Yannan Jiang, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Daniel Exeter, Enid Dorey, Chris Bullen, Jennifer Utter, David Schaaf, Maria Turley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)
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This study sought to integrate perceived and built environmental and individual factors into the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model to better understand adolescents' physical activity. Methods: Participants (n = 110) aged 12 to 17 years (M = 14.6 ± 1.55) were recruited from two large metropolitan high schools in Auckland, New Zealand, were included in the analysis. Participants completed measures of the revised TPB and the perceived environment. Individual factors such as ethnicity and level of deprivation were also collected. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software was used to measure the physical environment (walkability, access to physical activity facilities). Physical activity was assessed using the ActiGraph accelerometer and the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A). Data from the various sources were combined to develop an integrated model integrated for statistical analysis using structural equation modeling. Results: The TPB model variables (intention and perceived behavioral control) explained 43% of the variance of PAQ-A. Unique and individual contributions were made by intention and PBC and home ownership of home equipment. The model explained 13% of time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity (Actigraph). Unique and individual contribution was made by intention. Conclusion: Social cognitive variables were better predictors of both subjective and objective physical activity compared to perceived environmental and built environment factors. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


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