Association between built environment and physical activity in Latin American countries: A multicentre cross-sectional study

Mishell Barreno, Ivan Sisa, Martha Cecilia Yépez Garciá, Hua Shen, Mónica Villar, Irina Kovalskys, Mauro Fisberg, Georgina Gomez, Attilio Rigotti, Lilia Yadira Cortés, Rossina G. Pareja, Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Viviana Guajardo

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4 Citas (Scopus)


Objective To assess the association between the physical activity level and the built environment by accessibility, microinfrastructure and security in Latin America (LA). Design We conducted a multicentre cross-sectional study to collect physical activity and built environment data. The levels of physical activity were calculated through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire survey. Using the Neighbourhood Environment Walkability Scale-Abbreviated, characteristics of the built environment were measured through three domains: Accessibility, microinfrastructure and security. To estimate the association of the built environment and physical activity, we used mixed effects logistic regression analysis. In addition, likelihood ratio test to account for clustered effect within countries and/or cities was used. Setting Eight countries in LA. Participants Adults aged 15-65 years (n=9218) living in urban areas and consented to participate of the Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health. Results Most of the population in LA had access to a grocery store (97.2%), public transport stop (91.5%) and children's playground (81.6%). Metropolitan parks were more accessible in Ecuador (59.8%) and Colombia (59.2%) than in Venezuela (33.5%). Individuals located within 20 min of walking from sport facilities or children's playground areas were more likely to perform moderate-to-high physical activity OR 1.20 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.36) and OR 1.25 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.53), respectively. Only 14.5% of the population from the region considered that their neighbourhood had an adequate design for walking or cycling. Likewise, among adults living in LA, only 39.75% had the perception of living in a safe neighbourhood. Conclusions This multicentre study shows that currently, LA built environment does not promote physical activity in the region. Our findings provide the rationale to push forward, at regional and national levels, policies and interventions that will help to achieve a safe, healthy and friendly built environment to encourage participation in active recreation and sports in leisure time.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe046271
PublicaciónBMJ Open
EstadoPublicada - 3 nov. 2021


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