Examining the Associations of and Interactions Between Intrapersonal and Perceived Environmental Factors With Objectively Assessed Physical Activity Among Rural Midwestern Adults, USA


Purpose: We investigated associations of intrapersonal and environmental factors with objectively assessed weekly moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) minutes, and their interactions in rural adults.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting: 14 rural towns participating in a multilevel intervention to promote physical activity.

Sample: Baseline data from 241 rural community members (19% losses due to missing data).

Measures: Self-reported demographics, behavioral factors, and neighborhood environment perceptions. Weekly MVPA minutes were assessed using accelerometry data.

Analysis: Generalized linear models using a negative binomial distribution examined associations of and interactions between intrapersonal and environmental correlates with weekly MVPA.

Results: Older age (β = -1.37; P= .025) and identifying as a woman (β = -.71; p= <.001) were inversely associated with MVPA. Self-efficacy (β = .34; p = <.001) and trail use (β = .44; P-value = .003) were directly associated with MVPA. Further, among women, perceived safety from traffic was inversely associated with MVPA (β = -.37; P = .003), while indoor recreational facility access was directly associated with MVPA (β = .24; P = .045).

Conclusions: Rural residents, especially women, face disproportionately lower MVPA levels. Improving recreational access and self-efficacy may be effective strategies for increasing MVPA.

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