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Moving closer to outdoor recreation not a recipe for being more physically active
Date:9/24/2010

nder, job status and education, which were gleaned from census data.

Berry says the relationship between those who chose to move to a walkable neighbourhood and BMI was clear. "For those people who had moved for ease of walking and thought it was important, their BMIs didn't change and they were able to maintain their weight. But for those for whom it was not important at all, they showed an increase in BMI and that was matched with the cross-sectional data."

Berry says that, as expected, those in lower socio-economic status (SES) neighbourhoods had higher BMIs. "That's completely consistent with the literature. There is so much more access to fast food restaurants; there are fewer grocery stores; it may not very pleasant to be active in your neighbourhood. So there's a whole host of issues (that need to be addressed.)

Socio-economic status is an important factor and we really should be paying more attention to how to help people in lower SES neighbourhoods overcome the barriers they face to health," Berry says.

She concludes, "Those who are choosing neighbourhoods because they can walk are, at least in terms of BMI, the healthiest of all. So this is a very important factor in the built environment/BMI relationship and needs further study."

The study, "A longitudinal and cross-sectional examination of the relationship between reasons for choosing a neighbourhood, physical activity and body mass index" was published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.


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Contact: Jane Hurly
jane.hurly@ualberta.ca
780-492-6821
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
Source:Eurekalert

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