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      Spatial accessibility to specific sport facilities and corresponding sport practice: the RECORD Study

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          Physical activity is considered as a major component of a healthy lifestyle. However, few studies have examined the relationships between the spatial accessibility to sport facilities and sport practice with a sufficient degree of specificity. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between the spatial accessibility to specific types of sports facilities and the practice of the corresponding sports after carefully controlling for various individual socio-demographic characteristics and neighborhood socioeconomic variables.


          Data from the RECORD Study involving 7290 participants recruited in 2007–2008, aged 30–79 years, and residing in the Paris metropolitan area were analyzed. Four categories of sports were studied: team sports, racket sports, swimming and related activities, and fitness. Spatial accessibility to sport facilities was measured with two complementary approaches that both take into account the street network (distance to the nearest facility and count of facilities around the dwelling). Associations between the spatial accessibility to sport facilities and the practice of the corresponding sports were assessed using multilevel logistic regression after adjusting for individual and contextual characteristics.


          High individual education and high household income were associated with the practice of racket sports, swimming or related activities, and fitness over the previous 7 days. The spatial accessibility to swimming pools was associated with swimming and related sports, even after adjustment for individual/contextual factors. The spatial accessibility to facilities was not related to the practice of other sports. High neighborhood income was associated with the practice of a racket sport and fitness.


          Accessibility is a multi-dimensional concept that integrates educational, financial, and geographical aspects. Our work supports the evidence that strategies to increase participation in sport activities should improve the spatial and financial access to specific facilities, but also address educational disparities in sport practice.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Environmental factors associated with adults' participation in physical activity: a review.

          Promoting physical activity is a public health priority, and changes in the environmental contexts of adults' activity choices are believed to be crucial. However, of the factors associated with physical activity, environmental influences are among the least understood. Using journal scans and computerized literature database searches, we identified 19 quantitative studies that assessed the relationships with physical activity behavior of perceived and objectively determined physical environment attributes. Findings were categorized into those examining five categories: accessibility of facilities, opportunities for activity, weather, safety, and aesthetic attributes. Accessibility, opportunities, and aesthetic attributes had significant associations with physical activity. Weather and safety showed less-strong relationships. Where studies pooled different categories to create composite variables, the associations were less likely to be statistically significant. Physical environment factors have consistent associations with physical activity behavior. Further development of ecologic and environmental models, together with behavior-specific and context-specific measurement strategies, should help in further understanding of these associations. Prospective studies are required to identify possible causal relationships.
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            Measuring the built environment for physical activity: state of the science.

            Physical inactivity is one of the most important public health issues in the U.S. and internationally. Increasingly, links are being identified between various elements of the physical-or built-environment and physical activity. To understand the impact of the built environment on physical activity, the development of high-quality measures is essential. Three categories of built environment data are being used: (1) perceived measures obtained by telephone interview or self-administered questionnaires; (2) observational measures obtained using systematic observational methods (audits); and (3) archival data sets that are often layered and analyzed with GIS. This review provides a critical assessment of these three types of built-environment measures relevant to the study of physical activity. Among perceived measures, 19 questionnaires were reviewed, ranging in length from 7 to 68 questions. Twenty audit tools were reviewed that cover community environments (i.e., neighborhoods, cities), parks, and trails. For GIS-derived measures, more than 50 studies were reviewed. A large degree of variability was found in the operationalization of common GIS measures, which include population density, land-use mix, access to recreational facilities, and street pattern. This first comprehensive examination of built-environment measures demonstrates considerable progress over the past decade, showing diverse environmental variables available that use multiple modes of assessment. Most can be considered first-generation measures, so further development is needed. In particular, further research is needed to improve the technical quality of measures, understand the relevance to various population groups, and understand the utility of measures for science and public health.
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              Socioeconomic status differences in recreational physical activity levels and real and perceived access to a supportive physical environment.

              Spatial access to recreational facilities and perceptions of the neighborhood environment and physical activity levels were examined by the socioeconomic status of area of residence (SES). A cross-sectional survey of adults (18-59 years) (n = 1,803) stratified by SES using a geographic-based index was conducted. Respondents in low SES areas had superior spatial access to many recreational facilities, but were less likely to use them compared with those living in high SES areas. They were more likely to perceive that they had access to sidewalks and shops, but also perceived that their neighborhood was busier with traffic, less attractive, and less supportive of walking. After adjustment, respondents living in low SES areas were 36% less likely to undertake vigorous activity. While they were more likely to walk for transport, this was not statistically significant (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 0.98-1.64), nor were other SES differences in walking for recreation and walking as recommended. Modifiable environmental factors were associated with walking and vigorous activity, especially perceived access to sidewalks and neighborhood attractiveness. Spatial access to attractive, public open space was associated with walking. Creating supportive environments--particularly sidewalks in attractive neighborhoods--has the potential to increase walking and vigorous activity.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Inserm, U707, Faculté de Médecine Saint-Antoine, 27 rue Chaligny, 75012 Paris, France
                [2 ]Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris6, UMR-S 707, Faculté de Médecine Saint-Antoine, 27 rue Chaligny, 75012 Paris, France
                [3 ]Centre d’Investigations Préventives et Cliniques, 6 rue La Pérouse, 75116 Paris, France
                Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
                Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
                The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
                BioMed Central
                20 April 2013
                : 10
                : 48
                Copyright ©2013 Karusisi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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